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- Ashley P., Teacher
- Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
News Media Influence Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved News Media Influence educational resource ideas and activities
What comes to mind when learners think about campaign financing? They watch a video (linked) about the fundraising climate during the 2012 presidential election and discuss Super PACs and Supreme Court legislation as a group. Scholars focus on rhetorical device by listening to famous speeches and completing a graphic organizer on persuasive techniques. Next they view four Super PAC ads and complete an analysis of what they see. In a well-formed paragraph, researchers synthesize conclusions based on one of the ads. A rubric is included, and all worksheets are separated into middle school and high school levels. The informational text and resource links here are invaluable.
Can word choice affect a candidate's likeability? Use this New York Times activity to explore how a presidential candidate's likeability factor can fluctuate in public opinion polls. Young readers choose a presidential election from their lifetime and research the various Democratic or Republican candidates' backgrounds using informational texts.
Study word choice and connotation in advertising. Readers examine campaign ads, both negative and positive, from the 2006 mid-term election. They read and discuss an article and analyze a campaign of any candidate they choose. Finally, they develop storyboards for positive campaigns. With a little more prep time (check for current ads online), the resource could be easily updated to cover current election campaigns.
Want to explore the process of writing a persuasive essay and tie it in with the upcoming elections? Class members use Venn diagrams and the hamburger model of persuasive writing to write a five-paragraph essay on elections and candidates. After they describe the candidate they believe should be elected, they participate in an election, and tally the results. Links and lesson components are included.
Who will be the next president? Learners write a persuasive letter to the president of the United States. They research the 2000 Presidential election, interview parents, and reflect on their own opinions and experiences to write their letters. This could be modified to work for any election year.
When did political propaganda start? How many types of propaganda are there? Kids are asked to analyze the various types of elections and election propaganda that voters see each year at election time. They compose an essay describing each type of propaganda and commonly used propaganda techniques. This is a five-day lesson that includes multiple resource links, standards, and adaptations; overall a great lesson.
A full and thoughtful lesson includes links, handouts, guided viewing worksheets, and great extension activities. Upper graders will examine extreme politics, propaganda, hyper-partisanship, and the 1928 presidential election. They engage in class discussion and create a presentation based on what they learned from viewing the related videos.
How do people interact with media? In what ways can everyday people respond to the news? Read "The CBS Evening Blog," and discuss a list of questions provided. Then, play a clip of recent news coverage (you will have to find this). Discuss the focus, the delivery, and the content. Vocabulary, further questions, and extension activities are provided.