Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Designing Information for Media Literacy

Media literacy is learning how to analyze and interpret media messages by questioning what you listen to, see, watch, or read, from paper to the digital world. It is also about designing information. The purpose of advertising is to convey a message in order to sell a good or service. These messages are constructed, so why not make our teaching tools as catchy and effective as advertising? The tools to design eye-catching images for visual learners can be incorporated into the creation and can debunk the idea of the “boring” worksheet. In other words, simple design elements can attract students to learning in the same way advertisers attract buyers for their products.

As part of our media literacy program that starts in the second grade, students are introduced to the topic of branding with the worksheet you see here. The document design includes 28 individual letters from different company names. The purpose of the activity is to promote an awareness of how important branding matters to a particular institution, and how the mere showing of a letter triggers a visual identification with a particular good or service.

Some of the letters are obvious and are easily recognizable, while others are not. For some students, it becomes a game or bragging right, for who can identify the most companies correctly. For others, it is a little uncomfortable not knowing as much. Herein lies the lesson. Which is better, to know more or less? For the students who have more than two-thirds of the answers, they become aware that perhaps they are more influenced by the media than they thought. Whereas the students who knew less realize that perhaps it is a good thing they are not as influenced by brand identification. What seemed like a deficit was actually a plus.

The point, however, is that well-designed worksheets are not work. Designing the information on a document attracts students to participate in the same way that a carefully crafted image of corporate identity attracts its customers. The students clamor for more, so we keep designing new ones and strategically putting them out for the taking. In a sense, they are advertised, free and fun to do.


  1. I need a few answers for worksheet 3.

    -top row, last logo
    -bottom row, first and second logo

    thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for your interest. Here are the answers:

      1. Getty Oil
      2. Astoria Federal Savings
      3. Commerce Bank

  2. What is the B, between M&M and Cherrios?

  3. HI what is this A ( in first worksheet) second row first logo

  4. I need the answers on worksheet one, the A in the third row from the bottom and the p/o on the bottom. I've been looking for days!!

  5. Can you make an answer sheet?

  6. WHat is the p on the bottom row of the first page

  7. I also need the W on the top row of the third page

  8. I would also like to know the p...second one in on the bottom!

  9. On the first worksheet what are the N and D in the fourth row, the A and Z in the fifth row and the P in the last row?


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