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What is Media trying to tell me?

Main Core Tie

Secondary Library Media (6-12)
Strand 8: Standard 2:

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Reading: Informational Text Standard 7

Time Frame

1 class periods of 70 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Character
  • Social & Civic Responsibility


Mariah Gerlach
Catherine Jensen
Shay Woodruff-Walton


Through watching several examples of commercials, campaign ads, TED talks, sports videos, instructional videos, and mini-documentaries, students will learn how to determine the audience, purpose, misconceptions, and level of influence various forms of media has.


  • Projector
  • YouTube playlist created ahead of time
  • A graphic organizer that provides a place for students to write about their reactions to sounds, pictures, dialogue, actors, etc.

Background for Teachers

This is a complementary lesson to the Documentaries and Media Literacy lesson by the same authors. Classes come to the library for this lesson and teacher collaborates with librarian on teaching media literacy.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students need to have been introduced to: documentaries, film clips, what filmmakers use to persuade, and forms of non-verbal communication

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand and use basic terms and concepts of media with their potential impact, advantages and limitations. They will evaluate and select media for appropriate personal, educational and professional use.

Instructional Procedures

  • As the class comes to the library, they are seated where all can see videos projected and a whiteboard.
  • Librarian asks for some of the different types of media they are familiar with and lists ideas on the board. (newspapers, internet, video, music, etc)
  • Pass out graphic organizer that students will use while watching videos.
  • Librarian has created a playlist of good commercials, campaign ads, instructional videos, scientific videos, TED talks, book trailers, sports videos, music video, etc.

    Students should watch each video, and write their emotional, physical, or intellectual response to each based on the music, setting, dialogue, acting, and promotional items in the video, for thirty seconds after viewing.

  • After 2 or 3 videos, students pair and share their responses of the previous videos.
  • After all videos are watched, students should be placed into small groups and compare their responses to each video and discuss what components made them feel this way.
  • As a class, wrap up the lesson by sharing the similarities and differences students felt and why they believe the responses were elicited. Discuss how we can make ourselves aware of the influence various forms of media are having on us as a person and society.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Provide a wide array of video or clips from different countries to meet the needs of many learners and get a big picture of how the world utilizes media.

Created: 09/08/2016
Updated: 02/05/2018