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Grade 5 Expectations and Activities

BACK to Ontario Media Literacy Main Page
WIINDMILL PRESS (Canadian publisher of media literacy books and resources)

According to the Ontario Ministry of Education's Elementary Curriculum in Media Education, grade 5 students will:

identify the main characters of some familiar media

recognize that media works are composed of a series of separate elements

list and describe many of the ways in which the media provide information

create a variety of media works

Click here for a review and definition of Types of Media Works, Media Techniques and Purpose of Media Works

Activities for Your Grade 5 Classroom

Of course, these are only ideas, meant to jump-start your own concepts which you will infuse into your classroom based on the curriculum you are bringing to your fifth graders. The key for media literacy is not to have a media unit per se, but to use media literacy concepts throughout the school year in language studies.

You begin to see via the expectations and the following activity suggestions that by now, students are expected to deconstruct the media, to see it for the individual parts from which it is made up. The suggestions will get you going, but considering all forms of media would be an impossible task. Hopefully you will come away with a some ideas about teaching kids how to see the moving parts of every media machine.

show a fifteen minute cartoon twice; after the first, ask students general questions about what they remembered from the show--sounds, music, background, laugh tracks, voice variety, etc; give students guidelines (perhaps on a handout) to look for specific details about the show and to note those details

watch a situation comedy and study the body positions of the characters throughout the show for a study in "stage"

watch a situation comedy and note the role of the studio audience (applauding when characters arrive, laughing and applauding)--count the number of laugh-tracks in the first five minutes of a situation comedy

watch 10 minutes of a drama (tastefully chosen) and note external qualities that create suspense or tension--lighting, sound effects, music, facial expressions and body language of the actors; do this activity without sound and examine how visual images create these effects (suspense, etc); place a bristle board over the screen and listen only to sound and examine how sound plays a role in effect

compare two magazines within the same class (ie Fitness magazines)--look at differences and similarities in front page design, font choice, colour choice, model choice, content of headlines (what is being highlighted)

compare two magazines within the same class (ie News like Time and Maclean's)--compare the choice of pictures in the main story; compare the types of stories covered and draw conclusions

compare two newspapers (if you have access to a pair of national dailies or perhaps your local newspaper with a national daily)--compare the front page headlines, picture(s), font style

compare newspaper sports pages over a given week (the same newspaper)

compare newspaper sports pages of two different newspapers within the same city--examine the different stories told about the same subjects

give a short lesson on camera shots and why directors change the perspective of the camera so often

show a scene (anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes) from an adventure film like Jurassic Park or Indiana Jones or Mission Impossible--count the scene changes within the time limit

engage in a discussion as to why the camera changes perspective so often

engage in a discussion about how the camera affects audience reaction

For some great activities on the Power of the Camera CLICK HERE

create a variety of media works by emphasizing the planning that must go into the construction of any medium

in creating a print ad, provide a handout in which students must provide a headline, a slogan, choose a colour, create a logo etc.

in creating a radio drama, provide a planning sheet in which students must create a story, assign characters, find material for sound effects, etc.

in creating a video recording of a student telling a story, have the story written, decide on camera angles and camera subject distance and where these will change during the story, the kind of pictures you might want to accompany the story, etc