Home
MediaLit Moments


He Named Me Malala

E-mail Print PDF

“He Named Me Malala” is a 2015 documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim; the story explores the life of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ education in Pakistan, and who subsequently became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

This videoclip from the documentary is the opening of the film, and it features an animated version of the story of the Afghani folk heroine Malalai of Maiwand, for whom Malala Yousafzai’s father named her. This animated opening provides a frame for the remainder of the documentary, which contains subsequent animated sections as well as interviews and recordings representing Yousafzai’s life.

Ask students why this animated story is chosen for the opening of a documentary film.

AHA! Malala Yousafzai’s name provides inspiration for her life and for the telling of her story.

Grade Level: 6-12

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
Core Concept #2: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in – or omitted from – this message?
Core Concept #4:
Media have embedded values, lifestyles and points of view.

Materials: Screen, LCD projector, computer with high-speed Internet connection.

Activity: Use the videoclip* (2:15 minutes long) found at http://ow.ly/Z0nWM.

Before identifying the film that the videoclip is taken from, ask the students if the animated clip caught their attention. What did they like or dislike about the creative techniques used to tell the story? If time permits, show the clip again. Then have the students list out the values, lifestyles and points of view they identify in the clip.  Be sure to have students address omissions, such as other points of view.  Students may want to explore historical information about the opponents and the context surrounding the battle depicted, or typical customs regarding women at the time.

After analyzing and discussing the videoclip, provide students with the name of the documentary and ask students what their expectations may be of Malala Yousafzai, the contemporary girl whom the documentary features.  What kind of girl might they expect to meet or see?

Extended Activities: A complete teaching guide, “He Named Me Malala,” is available free from Journeys in Film, http://journeysinfilm.org/films/he-named-me-malala/. Once students have had an opportunity to explore the framing of Malala’s story from the standpoint of the opening animation using a media literacy approach, it is illuminating to contrast and compare Malala Yousafzai’s own story with that of the ancient heroine. 

Additionally, the book authored by Yousafzai, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” provides another media venue to explore Yousafzai’s story, allowing for a comparison between various approaches possible through different mediums.

* The videoclip is excerpted from the 2015 film “He Named Me Malala.” CML thanks Fox Searchlight Pictures for permission to use this clip for educational purposes.


The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:18
 

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!

E-mail Print PDF

In September 2013, a video of what appeared to be a young woman “twerking” upside down on her door, falling down on her living room table and catching fire from nearby candles provoked a sensation on social media.  In addition, local news channels around the country carried the video for the opportunity to comment (tongue-in-cheek) about the dangers of twerking.  In all, the video attracted nine million views. The video turned out to be an elaborate fake staged by the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Ask students what they think might be suspect about a viral video.

AHA!:  Just because this video looks like it was produced at home doesn’t mean that it wasn’t professionally staged or altered.

Grade Level:  8-12

Key Question #2: What creative techniques attracted my attention?

Core Concept #2: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules

Materials: Screen, LCD projector, computer with high-speed Internet connection

Activity: The video can be easily found on YouTube, using search words such as “twerking girl catches fire.”  It’s about 37 seconds long.  Make sure not to load any videos bearing the Jimmy Kimmel logo.  If you like, you can ever-so-slightly misdirect students by asking students to share their thoughts about videos on social media that might fall under the heading of “do not attempt at home.”  (The woman in the video is a trained stunt woman,by the way).

Storyful (storyful.com), which curates, licenses and verifies a wide variety of social media and news content, promotes its services with a number of brief case studies.  Among them is a study debunking the ‘twerking girl on fire’ video.  The study includes a number of questions posed by staff, as well as a short narrative on the processes used to document the video as a ‘certfiable fake.’ Make use of these materials as you wish to help students act as detectives searching out the truth about the production of this video.  Once you’re satisfied with student work and discussion, play the full version in which Jimmy Kimmel appears on screen to extinguish the fire on the woman’s yoga pants.



The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:18
 

Social Media Shuts Down Offensive Ad

E-mail Print PDF

In November of this year, Bloomingdale’s produced a holiday print ad in which a man looks intently at a woman in a care-free pose who’s laughing and looking away. The text reads, “Spike your best friend’s egg nog when they’re not looking.” The ad drew a spectacularly negative response over social media channels. An example of the ad, and the apology from Bloomingdale’s, can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/11/bloomingdales-apologizes-holiday-ad-date-rape-joke.

In this MediaLit Moment, your high school students will have the chance to critique this ad in a number of different ways.

Ask students to respond to the ad in short form, such as a Tweet, thought bubble, or altered tag line.
 

AHA!: There are so many ways to use media to express how offensive this ad is. We’ve got the power!

Grade Level: 10-12

Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are embedded in, or omitted from, this message?
Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.
Key Question K#4 for Producers: Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles and points of view in my content?
Key Question #5 for Producers: Have I communicated my purpose effectively?
Core Concept #5: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

Materials: Bloomingdale’s print ad and scissors, paper and paste; paper and pencil; or a screen image projected via data projector which can be altered with ed tech tools such as Phrase.It or Bubble Ply.

Activity: Show the ad to students and ask for their general reactions. How did it make them feel? Next, ask them to imagine what they think the advertisers were trying to convey. What makes it offensive or tasteless? What message does the ad convey about men and women in society? Introduce a sample Tweet about the ad to class: “Here's Bloomingdale's advertising festive date rape and non-consensual drug abuse to sell fashion. Stay classy.” @ DrJackMonroe. What makes the criticism in this Tweet particularly effective? Depending on the materials you choose or have at your disposal, ask students to produce their own responses to the ad. If using paper and pencil, try to keep the text short, like the sample Tweet. Display student work and discuss.


The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:18
 

I'm Representin' (myself)

E-mail Print PDF

One of the simplest and most meaningful media products a young child can make is a creative representation of him or herself. In this MediaLit Moment, your children or young students will get the chance to make creative decisions about what represents their character or identity.

Ask students to create a photographic scene which tells audiences something about who they are.

AHA!: I have to make choices to show who I am!

Grade Level: K to 2

Key Question #1 for Young Children: What am I making? How do I put it together?
Core Concept #1 for Media Literacy: All media messages are constructed.

Key Question #2 for Young Children: What do I see or hear/touch or taste? What do I like or dislike about this?
Core Concept #2 for Media Literacy: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Materials: Your choice of high tech or low. Use a multimedia portfolio system such as Kaymbu, or a low-budget camera.

Activity: Ask your child or student to take a photo that will appear at the beginning of their digital portfolio, or that could be posted to their cubby (or any relatively sizeable classroom item that belongs to them). Encourage the use of props, gestures, facial expressions, art work or even text to make a statement about who they are or what they are like.

After the photo's been taken, ask them to explain the creative choices they made. What did they tell other kids and adults about who they are?


The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2015, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:18
 

Style in War Time

E-mail Print PDF

Freedom of information, expression and opinion sometimes is taken for granted in the U.S. In Marjane Satrapi's animated autobiographical film Persepolis, the potential loss of those freedoms is rendered in stark relief. While the adult members of Marjane's family struggle with political oppression in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, young Marjane struggles with finding her voice and identity. In this MediaLit Moment, your middle level students will discover the personal aspects of freedom of expression as they learn about the barriers Marjane must contend with.

Ask students to discuss rights to freedom of expression evoked in a scene from a film

AHA!: This scene isn't just about what Marjane can't buy or wear, it's about the things that make it hard for her to say who she is!

Grade Level: 7-9

Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are embedded in, or omitted from, this message?

Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2: Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Materials: Computer with high speed internet connection, LCD projector, screen; DVD or electronic copy of Persepolis (2.4.7 Films, 2007; PG-13, French language/English subtitles).

Activity: Ask students to think of a time when they felt like someone was 'cramping' their style. What did that feel like? What did they do about it? After this discussion, give students some background on the Iranian Revolution, and the social and political repression that followed.

Introduce a sequence from Persepolis in which Marjane buys an "Iron Maiden" album, barely avoids being taken to the authorities, and plays monster metal 'air guitar' on her tennis racket when she's finally in the comfort of her home. The sequence begins at 26:44 when Marjane crosses the street to see the black market vendors, and ends around 29:40.

Lead a discussion in which students attempt to define what rights this sequence is 'about.' At some point, ask them how personal style figures in this conversation.

Given that this is an animated film, take at least some time to discuss the links between form and content. Why do they think that Satrapi wanted to use black and white in this sequence? What effect does it have? What techniques are used to show that Marjane feels like she's powerless? What techniques are used to show that she feels powerful? How are the black market vendors, Marjane's mother and the two devout women portrayed?

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2015, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:19
 


Page 7 of 21