100 Family Media Literacy Activities, Ages Pre-School through Teen Years
Are You a “High Hopes” Parent?
Attending to Our Children’s Attention Span
Building the Foundation for Resiliency Skills
Live and Play in Your World: Stimulus Addiction and the Growing Brain
Looking for Meaning in All the Right Places
Parenting Today: The World Has Changed, Have We?
Parenting as a Living System
Reading the Screen
Screen Time and Obesity
Screen Violence: Impact on Self as Relational Being
Teaching Children Gratefulness
100 Family Media Literacy Activities (cont.)
9. Be an actor or actress.
While watching a commercial, have your child role-play an actor's movements. Ask such questions as: “How does it feel to imitate particular positions and gestures? Does it feel normal or does it feel put on? Is it the type of body language used in everyday life? Why or why not? Encourage your child to make up different body movements and gestures for an actor in a commercial, act them out, and then discuss how this new body language might change the commercial message.
10. Find the real thing.
Purchase a food item advertised on television. Children then list the main ingredients found on the package. Discuss why the commercial does not inform viewers about ingredients or give much specific information about the product. Explain that a person needs to buy it and read the packaging in order to find out what's in the product—the commercial doesn't provide this information.
11. Put on a newscast.
Encourage your child with several friends to put on a newscast, using a newspaper or neighborhood event as content. Assign all roles —director, producer, writers, anchors, weather reporter, sportscaster, camera people, sound engineer. Use a video camera and actually tape the show. Be sure to show off your work to your families, or to your classes at school. Afterwards discuss such questions: “How did you determine what was important to share with other people? How do you define ‘news?’ How did people react to your newscast? What would you have changed about it if you were to do it again?”
12. Letter to news personality.
Help your child write a letter to a specific personality on a local news broadcast, encouraging him/her to ask questions or make comments. Your child might ask about how the person first became involved in TV news, and what it would take today to begin the same career. You might also ask if that personality thinks that TV news is appropriate viewing for children. Why or why not?
13. National vs. local news.
When watching a news program, identify it as a local or national show on the basis of its content. Is what's covered on local news different from what's covered on national news?
14. Watching vs. reading.
Choose an appropriate age news story and discuss it with your child. Watch an account of the story on a TV news program and then read an account of the same story in a newspaper. Discuss with your child the differences he/she noticed in the two accounts along with the similarities. If you do this on a regular basis, you will help your child be both a discerning reader and viewer of news stories.
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