By Ellen Mitchell
In this unit, students use the media literacy inquiry process of analyzing advertisements for educational and real life purposes. By the end of the unit, student should be able to recognize and identify how media messages use specific techniques to target audiences to gain profit or power. Media literacy is used to build critical analysis skills and develop conscious consumers of products and ideas. This unit falls in the middle of the seventh grade year after students have practiced media literacy through studies of propaganda, news analysis, and rhetorical analysis of famous speeches. Throughout the unit, students will analyze print advertisements, commercials, and public service announcements using the 5 key concepts and questions of media literacy as a means of developing an awareness of the influence of media on their own decision making. For the performance task, students will analyze a major media campaign and create an alternate advertisement that fits into the campaign through the use of similar technical elements, but targets an opposite audience than previously targeted in the real ad campaign. Students will explain their analysis of the existing campaign as well as their technical process in a frame of media literacy concepts and rhetorical analysis. Media Literacy resources for teachers can be found at this free website: www.medialit.org
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