Teaching Elementary Students Media Literacy Skills Using Animated Movies
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Parents and family members alike have always shown concern for their children’s television and movie watching habits. Questions arise about the appropriateness and influence of content regarding these types of media. There is a need to consider how media literacy is taught to younger audiences. Commonly, media literacy curriculum and lessons are focused, well-needed and intended, on discerning the validity of a source. However, younger students, at elementary ages, aren’t being equipped to critically view mediadirectly targeted for them. Animated movies shape children’s culture and theways they view the world. This study examined the experiences of elementary youth when learning about media literacy, and attempted to understand their process regarding the deconstruction andconstruction of media. Another goal of this study was to prompt and prepare students to question things seen in the media as well as learn about influences media has on their societal perspectives. Findings of the study revealed student engagement was significantly higher in construction activities rather than deconstruction activities.In addition, students were able to make connections to media literacy lessons and extend their thinking about how messaging has an impact on their daily lives.Recommendations for teachers, parents, and media literacy specialists with regards to increasing media literacy education and practices for elementary-aged students are provided.