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News Literacy at Plaza Cinema

For the Fall 2018 school year The Plaza is excited to offer a News Literacy program. This curriculum is designed for students from grades 7-12 to learn more about journalism, and what makes an informed consumer of news media. News Literacy is an important skill that goes hand-in-hand with Media Literacy and the development of a child's critical lens. We use fiscal consumerism in our lessons, with examples centered around business and buying products, to ensure that kids can work with tangible examples that relate to them when discussing these key concepts. 

Lessons are designed to be given over the course of 1-3 days, depending on the teacher's preference of depth and class time spent on News Literacy. We recommend that teachers meet with our News Literacy curriculum staff to discuss how we can best tailor the lesson to the needs of the classroom. 

CORE OBJECTIVES FOR NEWS LITERACY

  • Using critical thinking skills to analyze and judge the reliability of a source.

  • Determining the difference between fact and opinion.

  • Understanding the different news neighborhoods, and how a news story generates and functions inside the newsroom.

  • Discussing how to be an informed consumer of all types of media extending from the digital to television and print.


 


LESSON TYPES

How Journalism Works
In this lesson we go over the basics of journalism. Students learn about the process of reporting a story, news neighborhoods, how journalism businesses operate, ethics, and the way the newsroom runs. This is recommended as a one day lesson, and can be paired with the other lessons below as an expansion or can operate by itself. 

Reliable Sources:
Students learn some of the fundamental concepts of journalism, such as what goes into creating a news story, how news neighborhoods work, and the ways in which news companies function. Then as a group they work together to break down news articles to check for source validity. We discuss how sources can be altered to look more truthful, especially on the web. 

How a News Story Changes Over Time
Stories in the media about large scale issues often change and develop as more things about the topic are learned. This lesson is designed to show students that you can't just read the news for one day and know everything about a story, and teaches about the ways journalists gather more evidence while reporting, and what that looks like in print and other types of news media. 

Fiscal Literacy - Fact Checking a Source
This lesson uses examples such as video games or buying a first car in order to teach students about why checking a source is important.