Today’s lesson, and the final for the Internet + Media series, focuses on media literacy.
Media literacy means being able to see, review and think about the media a person is watching or reading – to understand what the message of the media is. Media is everywhere: TV shows, advertisements, movies, music, video games, magazines and newspapers. Having strong media literacy skills as a child helps to develop the ability to think about what the main message a piece of media is and how the message relates to the child’s world and values.
Consider the following tips to help your child develop media literacy skills:
1)Watch with them
Have a family movie night or tune in with your kids for their Saturday morning cartoons. By watching together, you can see exactly what messages your child is seeing. You can ask questions about what they think they are seeing and how they believe it fits with your family’s values.
2)Let them be the DJ
Let your child pick the radio station or what songs play in the car ride to school. Not only will it give you more of an idea of what kind of music they like, but you can ask questions about what they are listening to. Ask them what the lyrics mean and what the singer is expressing in their song. What does your child like about the song?
3)Encourage them to create their own media
When children are given a chance to create media, they can think more about what goes into the message they are trying to send out. You can guide them to make a magazine, film a short video or create a family TikTok video.
4)Have a conversation about representation
An important skill in media literacy is recognizing who is and who is not represented in a piece of media and how people are portrayed. By asking these questions to your child and having a conversation about representation, it allows for honest conversations about values, diversity and inclusion.
Developing media literacy skills can help strengthen a child’s sense of identity and belonging and have a greater respect for others.
For more information about media literacy, visit mediasmarts.ca for more parent tips about media literacy.