Media Literacy

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Magazine Advertisement Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 8th Grade

Time Needed: Five, 50 min. Classes

Focus: To recreate an advertisement that is misleading in a more realistic and viewer friendly way.

a. Students will analyze the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence, (
b. Students will develop an artistic intent, including how audience and occasion impact analyze and presentation choices, (
c. Students will analyze and interpret a variety of media artworks using established criteria, (

Motivational Resources: Students will be introduced to the lesson by choosing an advertisement from magazines brought in and analyze its meaning. Also, a PowerPoint will be shown for more magazine ad examples and analysis.

Art Materials:
Provided for students:
10 cameras
Computers Lab and Printers
Printing Paper
Student's need to bring:
Poster board

Introduction to the Lesson:
Media literacy enables a person to analyze, evaluate, and create messages within a broad range of media forms. It also encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, hear, and read. When used in education, media literacy is a way to address negative aspects of mass media and popular culture (misleading, photoshopped, and false advertisements). By becoming media literate, this knowledge can create a protective barrier for students by helping them make good choices in their media consumption habits and patterns of usage. Also, media literacy enables a student to be capable of creating their own successful advertisement by studying image use, layout, and use of text in the media.

Introduction Procedure for Art Making:

Class One: The first class will be used to introduce the topic and project. The teacher will start the class by passing out magazines. The students will be asked to pick an advertisement and decode it's meaning. They should look for ads that they believe are trying to manipulate the viewer in an obscure way. After they have chosen an ad and written down their analysis they should discuss what they found with the classroom. This will initiate conversation about the subject of media and media literacy. After class discussion the teacher will proceed with a PowerPoint on media and the assignment. The first few slides will discuss how to read advertisements and tell tail signs to look for. Also, it will give a brief history on advertisement. After, they should be told that they are creating a piece of art on the subject of advertisements and the effect they have on society. There assignment will be to choose an ad and recreate it in a more realistic and interesting way. For the next class period they should bring magazine ads they are interested in recreating.

Class Two: In the beginning of the second day the teacher should open discussion about different kinds of advertisements. For example, clothes, food, electronics, feminine products, ext. Then the class will be assigned into groups of 3. Then in their groups they should discuss the ads that they brought into the class and choose one ad and concept to focus on. They should brainstorm ways in which they could recreate this ad. For example, taking pictures on a bench, in the hallway, in front of the school are different ways. Also, they could bring in the product, (if able), and shoot in the classroom laying out colorful paper as a backdrop. They should make sketches on how the want their final advertisement to look. They should be thinking about color scheme and how they're going to create an interesting and technically sufficient ad. They should be reminded that they aren't necessarily trying to create a negative advertisement. The group needs to figure out someone to bring in poster board and any extra material they will need to shoot their project.

Class Three: This class period will be a workday. The teacher should open the class by showing a how-to example for using the cameras and how to upload their photos onto the computer for printing. This should be a quick demo, since most of the students will know this information. After, the class will get into their groups and begin to set up for shooting their imagery. If they are leaving the classroom, they need to sign out on a sheet and say where they will be. This day will mostly be for taking photos, uploading into the computer, and printing. The next class period the student should come ready to composite their imagery on their poster board.

Class Four: This class period will also, be a workday. The teacher will start the class by discussing text in advertisements. They will talk about a how text can be used as a design element and that the chosen font, placement and color and have great effects on how the viewer reads and interprets the ad. Also, they should consider what they want their advertisement to say. They could have facts on it, or maybe they just want to give it some flare with color and some reasonable catch phrases that would make someone interested in the project. Then, they should break into their groups. The work should be divided up into starting to put together the poster board, printing text and adding decorative elements to their poster board. This could be using colored cardstock cut into fun shapes that would help the design elements in their ad. For the next class period, they should be ready to present their project during an in class critique.

Class Five: The last class period will be for doing a show in tell of students projects. Students should have prepared a short introduction to their project and what their focus was. Then they should present the advertisement they created. They should say what visual elements they tried to create and how. Also, they should refer to their original image and say what they chose to change and how they thought theirs was a more appropriate and successful ad. They class should give a short critique to every ones project, making an effort to participate in discussions.

Art History: Students will be given a history of advertising and how it's become an art form over the ages.
Aesthetics: Students will be decoding advertisements and looking at the different design and image choices to better understand the ad.
Art Production: Students will be using collage and digital imagery to create a poster board size ad that they feel holds an appropriate amount of selling techniques.
Art Criticism: Students will be looking at art in the world through advertisements and making a comment. Also, looking at each others projects and critiquing during an in class critique.

Evaluation/ Assessment:

a. Students will be evaluated individually on how well they used class time to work on their project.

b. Students will be evaluated on how strong and developed their commentary is on their chosen advertisement.
c. Students will be evaluated on their use of design principles and image quality.
d. Students will be evaluated on whether or not they participated in critique.


Hodgson, Kendra. "Killing Us Softly 3, Advertising's Image of Women ." Media Education Foundation. (2005): 36. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. .

Silverblatt, Art, Jane Ferry, and Barbara Finan. Approaches to Media Literacy: a handbook. New York: M.E. Sharp, Inc., 1999. 280. Print.
Streitmatter, Rodger. SEX SELLS! The Media's Journey from Repression to Obsession. Cambridge: Westview Press, 2004. 283. Print.

STUDIO PROJECT--Click for full size

Magazine Advertisement Lesson Plan.docx

I found this article in the Grove Art Online database within the UMD library. It talks a lot about the history of computer art (term the author used for digital art) and the progression of the medium as it becomes more and more relevant. However, the part of the article that I thought was a topic worth reporting on was the conservation of digital art from a museum standpoint. Rather than maintaining a painting, a conservator is responsible for digital data. As time passes it becomes even more challenging because the world of digital art is changing daily with new programs and new methods for creating such works. Conservators have to be familiar with the world of information technology and digital asset management. Yes, the color will never fade on a digital work like a renaissance painting, but I believe there are many challenges when it comes to handling digital work. They must be stored securely, but also in a private database so the general public cannot access the artworks. Digital stills can also be displayed as prints. It makes me wonder if museums have digital versions of the prints so if they ever were lost, they could be re-created. I am happy I found this article because we talk a lot about the growth of the digital art realm but not a lot about how to handle it, and where to store it.

Mick Hartney and Jeffrey Martin. "Computer art." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 1 Dec. 2011 .

Your Artistic Process Animation

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Your Artistic Process Animation

Grade Level: 12th

Time Needed: 5 Class Periods

Focus: The lesson's focus is to understand the technicalities of stop motion photography while also gaining an appreciation for the art making process of the students' art medium of choice.

Objectives: The students will...
1. Create a single, complex work or multiple works in media arts (
2. Analyze how the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence, are combined to communicate meaning in the creation of, presentation of, or response to media arts (
3. Integrate tools, materials, and techniques to create original products for artistic purpose (

Motivational Resources:
1. YouTube Videos
2. PowerPoint Presentation on Stop Motion
3. Presentation introducing the basics of Photoshop animations
4. Digital Methods Blog:
5. Beginner's Guide to Animation: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started by Mary Murphy
6. Assignment Handout

Art Materials:
1. Digital Camera
2. Tripod
3. Computer with Photoshop
4. Additional materials will vary depending on the students' choice of which artistic process to animate

Introduction to the Lesson:
Forms of animation have been around since the first century in the form of a zoetrope, which is similar to a flipbook; only the images are on a round plane that is spun in order to see the animation. Animations have been a part of the art world for a long time they were just not always digital. With the introduction of today's technology, the possibilities for different types of animations are endless.
For this assignment, the students will be focusing on their individual artistic process; how they create a work of art. The assignment is not about the result of the process therefore, the quality of the result will be irrelevant as long as the student creates something while animating this process. The end result will be a minimum 30-second, stop motion animation of their art making procedure that combines the digital world of today with traditional art making.

Instructional Procedure for Art Making:
1. Day 1: Class will begin with the introduction to the assignment with a PowerPoint presentation including the motivational YouTube clips (links will also be listed on the assignment handout). After a brief PowerPoint, the teacher will then introduce Photoshop with some demos and tutorials to ensure the students are comfortable using the program. The rest of class will be devoted to brainstorming ideas.
2. Day 2: The second class period will begin with the introduction to the equipment they will be using to photograph their process. Once they feel comfortable using the cameras, they will be encouraged to begin shooting.
3. Day 3: Class will be devoted entirely to working on their assignment.
4. Day 4: Students will be required to have their photographs taken prior to class to participate in Photoshop tutorials on how to edit and add music to their animation.
5. Day 5: The final class will be the due date for the assignment in which the students turn in their animation via flash drives along with their artist's statement. Their will also be an in class critique in which students can receive feedback from the teach as well as their peers.

Discipline-Based Art Education:
1. Art History--Students learned the history of stop motion animation as part of the introductory PowerPoint presentation.
2. Aesthetics--Students looked for the quality of the animation and gained an appreciation for the artistic processes of mediums they might not be familiar with.
3. Art Production--Students will animate the process of creating a piece of art while physically producing a drawing, painting, clay pot, etc.
4. Art Criticism--students will participate in an in-class discussion, or critique, evaluating their classmates' work. In addition, they will be required to write a short artist's statement reflecting on the assignment.

The students will be solely evaluated on the quality of their animation. The end result of the artwork in which they are animating will not be a factor. I will not be grading the quality of the result of this artistic process. Also, the students participation in class work time, critique participation, and their artists' statement will affect the final grade.

Digital Methods Lesson Plan.docx

Untitled from Mitch Gracik on Vimeo.

Digital Dali Lesson Plan

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I found this lesson on Adobe's Education Exchange website, it is called Digital Dali and it uses Photoshop to create a surrealism-inspired photograph. The lesson plan focuses on very simple aspects of Photoshop such as different filters, smudging, and blending so it is possible to apply this lesson to large range in grade levels. I really like how the lesson uses a strong aspect of art history with the influences of Salvador Dali and the Surrealism movement. The way it integrates digital methods while teaching about the movement and the artist is a really creative, yet simple way of teaching it. The students can either use images they took themselves or use some that the teacher provided, or get one via the web. The students then apply the various Photoshop techniques to create a surreal feel that is inspired by Salvador Dali and the Surrealist movement.

Lesson Plan Copied From Website:

Digital Dali: Surrealism in Art Today

Adobe Product(s):
Acrobat, Photoshop Elements

In this lesson, students turn every-day digital photographs into surrealist-style artwork by using Adobe Photoshop Elements. This activity helps students enhance their creativity and better understand surrealistic techniques by working with lighting, color, and movement to turn their pictures into surrealistic works of art.

Keywords/Search terms:
art, surrealism, salvador dali, painting, art history, photoshop elements 9, acrobat X

Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Research and Information Fluency, Critical Thinking Problem Solving and Decision Making, Digital Citizenship, Technology Operations and Concepts

1-2 hours


To complete this lesson, you will need:

* Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 installed on all computers
* Adobe Acrobat X installed on all computers
* Teacher's guide and student technical guides (provided above)

My Own Example



"Digital Dali: Surrealism in Art Today." Adobe Education Exchange. Adobe. Web. Nov. 2011. .

Mystery Box Swap

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I found the article I am sharing in the UMD database, Academic OneFile. It is written by Ryan Shin and discusses the importance of integrating digital methods of art education into the classroom. We have discussed the this issue on multiple occasions but I felt Shin shed a new light on the subject referring children of today as "digital natives." He supports this by saying they spend more time reading lines of text messages than lines from a book and spend more time on Facebook rather than reading a book. This might not be such a terrible thing, today's students are the first generation to truly grow up and learn with computers, cell-phones, video games, music and video players, and other digital technologies being readily and consistently available to them. Shin also introduces a project that can bring some these elements into the classroom called the Mystery Box Swap. The project involves students decorating the inside and outside of a box (shoebox, wood box, etc.) and then filling it with several objects that express their life experiences, such as a special moment, a person you want to remember, a life-changing experience, a vision or goal, or anything significant to the student. The students then wrote a description of the contents without giving them away so they could be posted onto an auction website (similar to eBay). The students then traded with those they were most curious about. This project uses traditional craft-like art making but also ties in a digital aspect to the lesson. It could also be used as an "ice breaking" assignment early in the semester as the students would learn more about their new classmates. The digital tools are too abundant and useful in this world to ignore as a teacher. I know we have highlighted a lot of the main arguments for this in class but the integration of digital methods is something that I feel very strongly about.

An example of a "Mystery Box"

Shin, Ryan. "Taking Digital Creativity to the Art Classroom: Mystery Box Swap." Art Education 63.2 (2010): 38. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.

Digital Art Education Resource

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This link is a collection of great resources to help art educators bring digital art in the classroom. It contains project ideas, reasons and benefits of teaching these projects, as well as sample lessons and curriculums needed. In addition to ideas on how to bring digital art into the classroom, it also provides a list of tools and programs needed to make the lesson plan more effective. The list includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, HyperStudio by Knowledge Adventure, KidPix by Broderbund, Procreate Painter, Corel Bryce, Wacom Graphics Tablet, Corel PhotoPaint, and Paint Shop Pro. There are also links to networking sites like the NAEA that allow you to connect with other art educators to evaluate and compose lesson plans. I don't have much for a personal evaluation/interpretation of the website, I just thought it was a great resource that I wanted to share with everyone with everything needed to build, execute, and evaluate a lesson plan that brings digital art into the classroom.

Here is an example of an 8th grader's digital art project:

Also, here is a link to a website for Norwood Middle school and contains some great examples of student work across all mediums but specifically, some examples of digital work including drawings in illustrator and simple animations.

Claymation: Step by Step Instructions

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Making a Claymation


- Artist clay
- Pipe cleaners
- Paper
- Poster board (for setting)

Step by Step How to:

1. First, decide on a plot, charactors, and a setting

2. Create your charactor(s)

3. Create your setting using a poster board for your background and paper/art materials for props/background

4. Set up the camera on tripod (make sure it is positioned correctly)

5. Position character(s) where you want your scene to start

6. Suddely change the position of you character

7. Take a photo

8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until satisfied with your story plot


- Create simple characters
- Keep movements simple
- If you are going to move your camera, do it a little at a time
- The less obvious your individual movements are the better flow your video will have
- Have fun!


Benefits of Art Education

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A direct quote from the site: "According to a June 2005 Harris Poll, 93 percent of Americans believe that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education."

What I found is an article arguing the importance and benefits of Art Education in schools. I obviously have a bias viewpoint on the subject, but I strongly believe it is important for someone to acknowledge that they are having an affect and making an impact with what they are doing. It is important to realize the benefits and reasons why we do what we do. Having done this, an art teacher might realize they are teaching this subject because the children they are educating might become a well-rounded learner, and one day, a well-rounded person. Not all of us will go on to teach college, and those of us who don't, not every one of our students will eventually become professional artist; I bet not even half. And if all art educators realize the benefits of art reach more than aspiring artists, we will teach with a philosophy that will benefit the student rather than our biased idea that there needs to be more artists and art appreciation in this world. The benefits they have listed in the article are: Imagination, Cognitive skills, Creative abilities, Problem solving, Fine motor skills, Language, Social skills, Sense of time and place, Focusing, Listening, Risk taking, Tolerance, and Uniqueness. The article is actually pretty weak as far as depth but it really got me thinking about the idea to have this philosophy of reaching all students while teaching art, and how they can use it in their life rather than trying to convert everyone into an artist.

"The Benefits of Art Education." Award-Winning Art for Children: Classes, Camps and Parties by Abrakadoodle. Abrakadoodle. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. .

Ten things that kill a students creativity

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What I posted is a list of things that may kill or diminish a student's creativity. A noteworthy tip mentioned is that creativity can be killed when teachers assign grades without informative feedback. This is why I think critiques are extremely important to the amount of growth a young artist can get out of their art classes. For example, in high school, we didn't have a single critique, or discussion of each other's work. We simply had due dates and went through the semester without seeing what our classmate's were doing. Critiques give students an opportunity to get feedback on their artwork and what's working and what isn't. However, some of the things included in the list I disagree with. For example, it is mentioned that demonstrations can kill a students' creativity. Within the field of ceramics I feel that demos are a necessity because the skill and ability of throwing pottery requires more than creativity to master. Which is also true within many other art mediums.

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