Lesley James, Lesley James
Information Science
Material Type:
Lesson, Unit of Study
Middle School, High School
  • media literacy
  • media-literacy
  • wa-dcml
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Media Literacy Foundations

    Media Literacy Foundations


    This series of three lessons was designed for older middle school/younger high school students. The goal is to build a foundation of shared understanding and vocabulary before embarking on media literacy activities. The lessons introduce the concepts of "ways of knowing," "trusted experts," and "settled facts," which are useful things to agree on before discussing the reliability of an information source or the truthfulness of a media message. 

    Lesson Plans

    Foundations 1: How Do You Know?

    Students are introduced to four "ways of knowing," asked to consider who the "trusted experts" are for each way of knowing, and guided to understand that different ways of knowing are appropriate for different questions/situations. The lesson plan includes a slide deck, a handout, and an answer key. 

    Foundations 2: Is That a Fact?

    Students are introduced to the concept of a spectrum with "extremely settled facts" on one end and statements that are "extremely up for debate" on the other, with statements falling in various spots on the spectrum. The lesson plan includes a slide deck, sets of statements that can be arranged, and an answer key. 

    Foundations 3: Can We Agree To Disagree?

    Students revisit concepts from the first two Foundations lessons, engage with three options for determining whether or not something is a settled fact, and brainstorm the pros and cons of each option. The lesson plan includes a slide deck and a handout. 


    Cover image credit: "Sunrise" by Saikat Ghosh | CC BY 2.0