10 ways to teach pupils media literacy

Here are our 10 ways to teach pupils media literacy. Media literacy is the understanding of information via radio, film, tv, gaming, influencers, and especially social media, heavily used by so many young people.

According to a recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), 9 out of 10 teachers were in favour of teaching pupils media literacy skills, such as fact checking and the creation of digital media, and for it to be integrated into the English national curriculum.

Although lots of aspects of media literacy are positive and can introduce pupils to creative careers in social media, we have chosen to share some ways to teach pupils media literacy on helping increase their awareness and understanding of why it exists, its potential impact on themselves and about not being complicit in the negative aspects of it.

Here are10 ways to teach pupils media literacy:

  1. Explain what an advert is as some younger pupils do not know the difference between an advert and news.
  2. Explain the function of adverts and why they appear in certain places.
  3. Outline different media channels including social media and influencers.
  4. Inform older pupils how images can be digitally enhanced and why.
  5. Explain how the effects of digitally enhanced images can cause them to unrealistically compare themselves and have a negative impact on their body image.
  6. Explain what piracy is so they understand the illegality of downloading film clips.
  7. Explain that information can be true or false and how to spot it (false information can promise amazing results and miracle cures, even with convincing imagery).
  8. Encourage pupils to question reports before sharing them, is it true? Is it helpful? Is the source reliable?
  9. Actively ask them not to share fake news by liking, sharing, or commenting on unsubstantiated reports, check it out first.
  10. Promote self-censorship: encourage them to think before they post comments or share information, – who will see it? Could it be misinterpreted or be harmful to others?

Free resources are available to support teachers to teach pupils media literacy, here are a few we like:

  • helping pupils understand the news¬† click here¬†
  • teaching resources for primary and secondary pupils about media literacy, click here