Close Reading/ Media Literacy SCMSA2014

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Information about Close Reading/ Media Literacy SCMSA2014

Published on March 1, 2014

Author: fbaker1346



Close Reading presentation by media educator Frank Baker @ the SC Middle School Conference, February 28, 2014

Close Reading of Media Texts An Essential 21st Century Common CORE Skill for All Students Frank W. Baker media ed consultant Twitter @fbaker February 28, 2014

Common Sense Media Unveils FREE iBook textbooks

New test includes video Students need critical viewing skills

Solution Tree Press ISTE Greenwood Press Capstone Press

Frank‟s Columns on

Kids today: -Are the Heaviest Mobile Video Viewers Nielsen, 2011

Kids today: -Are the Heaviest Mobile Video Viewers -Are More Receptive to Mobile Advertising than their Elders Nielsen, 2011

Kids today: -Are the Heaviest Mobile Video Viewers -Are More Receptive to Mobile Advertising than their Elders -Grew Up in the Age of Social Media Nielsen, 2011

Media are Texts! Designed to be “read” (analyzed)

"Media analysis activities help create instructional contexts that engage and motivate reluctant readers, enabling them to build comprehension strategies that bring the complex process of meaning-making …… Source: "Improving Reading Comprehension by Using Media Literacy Activities." Voices from the Middle, 2001

“Films, web sites, television programs, magazines, newspapers, and even music are simply other forms of texts that communicate and carry meaning to readers." Source: "Improving Reading Comprehension by Using Media Literacy Activities." Voices from the Middle, 2001

“…media literacy becomes a natural link based upon your students' interests and the importance of building critical thinking skills. ”

Blooms Digital Taxonomy

What is: media literacy?

Analysis(read) + Create(write) video

Source: Center For Media Literacy (

Source: NAMLE


= Students as detectives (asking the right questions) Emphasis: observation, evidence

What is “close reading”?

What is “close reading”?   When close reading a media text, you deconstruct (take apart) the text by analyzing the way different elements are used to create meaning. In order to “close read” a text, it is necessary to understand the particular media language used.

Media Language Media language encompasses all the ways in which media text is constructed to communicate with an audience, through verbal, visual, aural language (e.g. lighting, layout, shots, typography, images, sound). Source:

What media do MS come in contact with the most? Visuals (visual literacy) Ads (advertising literacy) TV/Movies (moving image literacy)

Visual Literacy

Literacy: Reading– Language Arts Standards Standard IX: Viewing and Visual Literacy Accomplished early and middle childhood literacy: reading–language arts teachers know, value, and teach viewing and visual literacy as essential components of literacy instruction in order to prepare students to interpret and interact with an increasingly visual world.

Visual Literacy  Grade 6 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text

“Teachers must value, draw attention to, and explore illustrations and artistic devices illustrators utilize to facilitate visual literacy …...” Source: Picture This: Visual Literacy as a Pathway to Character Understanding, Reading Teacher, November 2012

What is the first element of the image that you notice? What draws your attention to it?  Close your eyes and look at it again. What do you notice on second viewing? Why is your eye drawn to that aspect of the image?  Why are elements of the foreground, middle ground, or background the most dominant? How does lighting and/or color draw your attention to specific aspects of the image?   (2001, p. 4). From: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument

Activity: Instructions   Strip away the caption to an image forcing students to look deeply For the next image, think of questions you –or your studentsmight ask about what’s pictured

Without prior knowledge of this film or its plot, what questions might you ask about this image?

Investigating Images


Advertising There are estimates that on a typical day we come in contact with between 3000 and 20,000 media messages.

Advertising College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading “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.” Speaking & Listening Standards (Grade 8) “Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.”

Encouraging students to think like advertisers        Who is my audience? (demographic) What media do they attend to? How do I get my product/service in front of their eyes? What design technique will be appealing, attractive and persuasive? What high profile person or event can I associate with? (Super Bowl) What’s the best way to reach them? How can I get them to commit (buy)?

What ads promise… Health  Wealth  Love  Happiness  Security  Escape  Relaxation  Cool  Friendship  Warmth  Safety  Adventure  Companionship  Entertainment  Savings  Comfort 

How to “read” an ad

Source: Children’s Media Project

Source: Children’s Media Project

How to “read” an ad     Frank‟s Advice: Read every word on the page Make note of any unfamiliar words or phrases Make a list of every image Consider: layout, design, color

Slogan  Narrative  Color  POV  Power  Techniques of persuasion  Layout  Subtext  Eye Movement 

      Who created the ad? What is the ad’s purpose? What techniques grab your attention? What is omitted? Who is the audience? Where was the ad published?


Ad Topics for Instruction          Advergaming Alcohol Celebrity Cosmetics Credit Cards Dieting (weight loss) Junk Food Movies (Oscars) Parody         Politics Prescription Drugs Product Placement PSA Sexual Messages Sports (Super Bowl) Tobacco products Toys

VoiceThread Source:

Moving Images (video and film)

Cell phone commercial   Close your eyes and listen At the conclusion, write down everything you heard video

Film (Movies)

Film “Critical viewing, a foundation of film literacy, is more than just putting on a movie or showing the film adaptation of a novel. Like critical reading, it's a way of analyzing the components of a text and the choices made during its creation -- key emphases, film-studies proponents point out, of the Common Core State Standards.” Source: Teachers Look to Film to Foster Critical Thinking, Education Week, August 15, 2013

“To „read‟ a film is to analyze how that film uses images and sounds to tell a story and to powerfully affect (our) thoughts and feelings about that story.”

Questions Teachers Could Pose (and students should answer)       What is the purpose of the film and how is it structured to suit this purpose? What devices are used to engage the audience? What do you think the central character(s) is feeling at key points and how has the filmmaker shown the audience their point of view? What is the setting and why do you think the filmmaker chose it? What do you think is the message of the film and how has it been communicated? How does the soundtrack affect your viewing of certain sequences in the film?

CC.7.R.L.7 Integration of Knowledge & Ideas  Compare and contrast a story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

CC.8.R.L.7 Integration of Knowledge & Ideas  Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choice made by the director or actors.

Lesson Plan: Creating Shot Sheet for "To Kill A Mockingbird" Courtroom Scene

Activity   Identify your favorite film Write a few short sentences about what scene in your film makes it memorable, worth watching

“To Kill A Mockingbird” (1962)

The Language(s) of Film

The Language(s) of Film tools & techniques which create meaning       Cameras Lights Audio Post-production (editing, sfx, etc) Set design Actors: expressions; body language; costume; makeup

Language of Film Academy Awards Category Cameras; Lights Cinematography; Directing Audio Music; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing Set Design Production Design Post Production Film Editing; Visual Effects Actors Best Actor, Best Actress Supporting Actor; Supporting Actress Costume Design; Makeup & Hairstyling

Timely News Recommended Resources Lesson Plans; Books/Videos

How to “read” a film Close reading involves “deconstructing” the text and in film that means understanding film terminology.


Roger Ebert, film critic advocated frame analysis

Rule-of-thirds Lighting “To Kill A Mockingbird” Camera Focus “Citizen Kane” Color “Pleasantville” Symbolism “The Wizard of Oz”

How did the director make this scene appear authentic?

“Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix”

Film Ideas for MS         Read a passage; then storyboard (draw) it For Your Consideration: Analyzing Oscar Ads Using Film in The Literature Classroom Movie Trailers As Persuasive Texts Scriptwriting In The Classroom Documentaries in the Classroom How films perpetrate stereotypes Create a film marketing poster

Film Posters Source: DECONSTRUCTED: Why These 10 Awesome Movie Posters Did So Well At The Box Office

Free Disney iBook



Resources Streaming Video Clips for Teaching About Media Apps For Teaching Media

Evaluation Complete the evaluation & include your email to receive a link to a copy of this PowerPoint (via SlideShare)

Close Reading of Media Texts Frank W. Baker media ed consultant Twitter @fbaker February 28, 2014

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