100 Family Media Literacy Activities (cont.)
3. Anger is natural.
Talk about the fact that we all get angry, that it's normal. It's what we do with our anger—how we cope with it and express it—that's important. When screen characters hurt people out of anger, it's because they have not learned how to deal with their anger. Your child could make a list of screen characters who know how to deal with their anger in positive ways.
4. Count the number of violent acts.
While watching a favorite cartoon with your child, count the number of actual violent actions. Point out that these are harmful to others and you would never allow him/her to do such things to others. Total the number of violent actions at the end of the program and ask your child if he/she thought there were that many. Decide not to watch cartoons or any shows with such violent actions.
5. Talk about real and pretend.
If your child is exposed to a violent movie or video game, it is especially important to talk with him/her about the fact that the images were pretend—like when your child plays pretend and that no one was actually hurt. Make it a common practice to talk about the differences between real and pretend with any TV programs, movies, your child watches. Understanding this concept is basic to becoming media-literate!
6. Blind taste test.
Show your child how she can test the claims of commercials. Have her do a blind taste test. It can be done with a wide range of foods such as three or four kinds of soda pop, spaghetti sauce, cereal—your child’s favorites. Are the products as great as the commercials claimed? Can she tell the difference between a generic brand and a famous one? Can she identify products by name? Do the commercials make products seem different than they really are? Why or why not? This is a fun activity to do with several children. Have a taste test party!
7. Draw pictures of a feeling.
Suggest that your child draw a picture depicting how he feels after watching two different types of TV commercials. What are the differences between the pictures? Discuss your child's feelings about the different commercial messages.
Picture the buyer. Younger children can watch a commercial and then draw a picture of the type of person they think will buy the product. After discussing the child's picture, explain how various audience appeals are used in commercials to attract specific audiences.
8. Cartoon ads.
While watching cartoons, your child can look for specific cartoon characters that appear in popular commercials. Explain the differences between the commercial and the cartoon: In the commercial, the character sells a product; in the cartoon, the character entertains us. The next time she watches TV, have her report to you if she sees any cartoon characters selling products.
<<Previous Page - Next Page>> 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Copyright © Gloria DeGaetano, 2009. All rights reserved. No reprinting rights granted without the author’s permission.
For information on receiving permission to reprint this article by obtaining your own PDF version, please click here or contact Gloria DeGaetano by phone at 425-753-0955 or by e-mail at info@GloriaDeGaetano.com.