Language Arts

Grade 8: Media Literacy

Planning: Term #

Tracking: Ach. Level

Overall Expectations





1.demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;





2. identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;





3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;





4. reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.





Specific Expectations





1. Understanding Media Texts





Purpose and Audience: 1.1 explain how a variety of media texts address their intended purpose and audience (e.g., this stage production based on a popular novel uses music and lighting to enhance the original and appeal to its fans; this commercial for a sports car uses fast-paced editing and rock music to appeal to the target audience - young, single men and women). Teacher prompts: "Why might a producer think that yet another version of this well-known story would attract a wide audience?" "What kind of driver is this car advertisement designed to appeal to?"





Making Inferences/Interpreting Messages: 1.2 interpret increasingly complex or difficult media texts, using overt and implied messages as evidence for their interpretations (e.g., compare the coverage of a lead story in a morning newspaper to the coverage of that story on the evening news; compare the order in which news stories are reported on two different television channels and suggest reasons for the differences; compare the treatment of a historical figure in a movie to his or her treatment in a print biography). Teacher prompts: "Did the newspaper and the television news program use the same lead story? Why or why not? Did the different news sources provide different information on the same topic? Did they take a different position?" "Which historical portrait is more convincing? More accurate? More interesting? Why?"





Responding to and Evaluating Texts: 1.3 evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation and treatment of ideas, information, themes, opinions, issues, and/or experiences in media texts (e.g., explain how a series of newspaper stories on a controversial issue captured and maintained their interest; explain the similarities and differences in the treatment of a particular topic or theme in different media texts and evaluate the relative effectiveness of the treatments; as a class, evaluate the media's coverage of a social or environmental issue over a two-week period)





Audience Responses: 1.4 explain why different audiences (e.g., with respect to gender, age, culture, race, income level) might have different responses to a variety of media texts (e.g., predict how a member of a particular age/gender/ethnocultural/socio-economic group might react to a controversial article in a print or online news magazine and give reasons for their prediction). Teacher prompt: "Do you think all members of a particular group would react the same way to this issue? Could an older person react the same way as a teenager? Why, or why not?"





Point of View: 1.5 demonstrate understanding that different media texts reflect different points of view and that some texts reflect multiple points of view (e.g., a television broadcast of a sports game presents the views of fans, the announcers, the sponsors, and the television network; different media texts represent people of different age, gender, income level, or ethnocultural background differently, communicating obvious or subtle messages that might indicate bias or stereotyping; different points of view are often presented in a news report of a conflict). Teacher prompts: "What different groups are represented in the text? Are the different groups treated differently? If so, how?" "In this news report about a conflict between two countries, does the reporter appear to favour one side over the other? Give evidence for your view."





Production Perspectives: 1.6 identify who produces various media texts and determine the commercial, ideological, political, cultural, and/or artistic interests or perspectives that the texts may involve (e.g., a music company's interest in a recording may be different from that of the artist; the company that produces a video game and the game's creator may have different views on how the game should be promoted). Teacher prompt: "How are commercial and artistic interests reflected in the contents and presentation of this CD by your favourite group?" "Explain how a more ideological approach might affect the appeal of this magazine for its current broad range of readers."





2. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions, and Techniques





Form: 2.1 explain how individual elements of various media forms combine to create, reinforce, and/or enhance meaning (e.g., print advertisements use text, images, colour, different fonts, and different camera angles in a seamless combination to create an effect). Teacher prompt: "Why do you think each of these elements is included? How are the elements combined to create a coherent message?"





Conventions and Techniques: 2.2 identify the conventions and techniques used in a variety of media forms and explain how they help convey meaning and influence or engage the audience (e.g., website conventions: home pages provide users with a convenient preview of the types of information available; website techniques: "sidebars" with inviting audio/video elements entice viewers to browse and explore new topics that might not have been their first priority)





3. Creating Media Texts





3.1 explain why they have chosen the topic for a media text they plan to create (e.g., a poster advertising a class fund-raising campaign to appeal to local parent groups, businesses, or service organizations), and identify challenges they may face in engaging and/or influencing their intended audience. Teacher prompt: "What are the challenges involved in reaching each of these groups? How can you appeal to all of the groups in a single poster? If you were to develop three posters, one for each of them, how would the posters differ?"





Form: 3.2 identify an appropriate form to suit the purpose and audience for a media text they plan to create (e.g., a multimedia presentation about their class or grade, to be presented to parents during graduation ceremonies) and explain why it is an appropriate choice. Teacher prompt: "What different types of media could you use for the presentation? How would they be organized and combined?"





Conventions and Techniques: 3.3 identify conventions and techniques appropriate to the form chosen for a media text they plan to create, and explain how they will use the conventions and techniques to help communicate their message (e.g., conventions in advertisements for a product to appeal to different age groups among the students: text, images, "free offer" promotional gimmicks; techniques: use of age-appropriate content in all elements of the advertisement). Teacher prompt: "What are the important things you need to know about your audience when designing your media text?"





Producing Media Texts:  3.4 produce a variety of media texts of some technical complexity for specific purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques (e.g.,

• a multimedia presentation examining two or more elements of a narrative, such as theme, plot, setting, or character

• a one-minute video advertising a class fund-raising project

• a website based on the content of a unit of study

• a report on school sports events to be presented during morning announcements

• magazine advertisements for a particular product, aimed at different age groups among the students in the school

• an interview with a family member about his or her cultural heritage for publication in a school or community magazine/newspaper

• a public-service announcement on a current issue that is relevant to their fellow students, such as daily physical activity, literacy, or bullying

• a storyboard for a video of a favourite song that is not available as a video)





4. Reflecting on Media Literacy





Metacognition: 4.1 identify what strategies they found most helpful in making sense of and creating media texts, and explain how these and other strategies can help them improve as media viewers/listeners/producers. Teacher prompt: "Why was it helpful to think about your audience's needs or wants before creating your advertisement?"





Interconnected Skills: 4.2 explain how their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing help them to make sense of and produce media texts. Teacher prompt: "How could reading about food and health help you when you are trying to create an advertisement for a 'healthy eating' ad campaign?"





 Expectations: Copyright The Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2006.  Format: Copyright B.Phillips, 1998.