Mapping the Media-sphere
By Louis Mazza, October 24, 2006
- High School
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
Common Core Standards
Anchors for Reading:
Key Ideas and Details:
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure:
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Anchor Standards for Writing:
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Anchor standards for Language:
Conventions of Standard English:
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language:
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
- Students will compare and contrast the media messages they see in two different communities in their city.
- Using prior knowledge from previous media literacy class sessions, students will make inferences about how and why different communities receive different messages.
- Students will find the elements of art and the principles of design in the photographs they have taken as well as in the built environment in their community.
- Students will create visual and conceptual models of the “media sphere” found in the two distinctly different Philadelphia* communities they have studied.
- digital cameras–1 per team
- color printer
- photo paper for printing photos and images collected from Google Earth
- Elmer’s glue
- brushes (for glue)
- Exacto knives
- cutting mats
- large sheets of paper for use as a base for the neighborhood maps
- wire, balsa wood, popsicle sticks for building 3-D and “pop-up” effects (optional)
Assessment is determined by the presentation of the final product. Focus will not be on impeccable quality or artistic talent but will be based on the quality of insight displayed by the models that the learners make. The rubric will consist of the following criteria at one of four levels: Elementary, Developing, Consolidating, Proficient.
- work habits (respect, focus, diligence)
- growth (comparison of knowledge from beginning to end)
- creative/conceptual skill
- A map that contains a representation of the media found in the neighborhoods the class has examined.
- A list of similarities and differences in media messages that have been found after reviewing media from both neighborhoods.
- Participation from each member of the group. Each member of the group will be asked to rate their group members’ participation level anonymously.
Enrichment Extension Activities
At the current stage in this multi-part lesson, we have completed our community evidence gathering session and we have identified some themes that we see in our community media environment. Learners have found that media messages in the neighborhood are designed to attract young men and women of color, probably between the ages of 14 and 25. African-American celebrity personalities are often used to promote clothing, jewelry, soft drinks, food, cell phones. Movie advertising in this neighborhood promotes films having to do with fast cars, martial arts. Mystical or superstitious titles like “The Omen” or “The Grudge” are heavily promoted here.
Learners seem to be paying more attention to the visual culture around them but it is not yet clear if this is creating more critical thinking among them and their peers. I think it’s difficult to think very critically if you’re 14 and are just being introduced to these concepts. It’s not yet clear whether they are actually looking at the media they consume in a new way or if they continue to consume it for pleasure.
I've been telling them that it’s possible to be critical of media and still enjoy it for sheer entertainment.
The skills that these learners need are patience and listening. All else can be developed if they are first willing and able to absorb new ideas. Often the constant 14-year-old goofing around, talking, moving, laughing takes valuable time and meaning from the work at hand.