Media Literacy Lesson & Studio Project

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"Exposing Gender Stereotypes"

Here is the studio project I did that goes along with the lesson plan on media literacy:

Untitled from Amanda Kral on Vimeo.

Full Lesson Plan:

Lesson Plan.docx

Overview of Lesson Plan:

Grade Level/Age: 11th Grade
Time Needed: Six Class Periods

Focus: To make students thoughtful viewers.


a.)The students will identify the functions of software such as photo editing, video-editing and sound-editing tools, in creating original products for expressive intent. (
b.)The students will analyze the meanings and functions of media arts. (
c.)The students will analyze, interpret and evaluate a variety of media artworks by applying self-selected criteria within the traditions of the art form. (
d.)The students will discuss characteristics of male and female stereotypes in our society.

Motivational Resources:
1. A PowerPoint to show the class that gives a general idea of what media literacy is so they get a better understanding of the purpose of the assignment.
Presentation (Blog).pptx

2. An interactive worksheet where the students will answer questions based on deconstructing a media message and their interpretation of specific gender role qualities (based on the PowerPoint given above).

3. Short clip(s) of the Disney movies that display gender role qualities (specifically for this project: two clips from the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast.
(Start watching clip from start to 2:39)
(Start watching clip from 3:06 to 4:46)

4. Teacher's blog to show an example of a possible idea for the project.

Art Materials:

•Access to a computer lab (preferably a MacLab where iMovie and GarageBand is available)
•Video cameras (number of how many depends on number of groups there are)
•Memory cards (to store the video data)
•Tripods (optional)
•Props you need to create the movie of your choice
•Flash drives (if possible, one per group to save the data after each class period)


"Media literacy refers to the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages of all kinds ("Introduction to Media Literacy). Studying and learning about media literacy can help people in many ways understand the world around them. It's an important lesson to learn in schools and in public life. Learning about media literacy allows students or the community to engage in practicing critical thinking skills and be aware of our media culture that we are influenced by every day. There are ten basic fundamental concepts that the study and practice of media literacy is based on including: media constructs our culture, media messages affect our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, media uses "the language of persuasion, media constructs fantasy worlds, no one tells the whole story, media messages contain "texts" and "subtexts", media messages reflect values and viewpoints of media makers, individuals construct their own meanings from media, media messages can be decoded, and media literate youth and adults are active consumers of media ("Introduction to Media Literacy"). One important way to learn and evaluate media literacy is to "deconstruct" messages that creators develop in our digital world. Deconstructing means breaking down or "taking apart" messages that the creator is trying to send to its audiences ("Introduction to Media Literacy"). Some important subjects that are key to look for when deconstructing a media message include: who is the source?, who is the audience?, what does the text say or read?, what are the subtexts that the audience is interpreting while looking or hearing the message?, are there any persuasive qualities to the message?, and whose point of view is in the message? ("Introduction to Media Literacy"). Knowing the basic literary concepts and learning how to deconstruct a media message are two important lessons when learning to be media literate.

**More In-Depth Introduction Displayed In The PowerPoint Attached Above.

Bi-Weekly Report #6: "Class Pager"

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As I was looking for new technology devices, I came across this website that offers free technology for teachers. As I was browsing through the articles, I saw a "class pager" link that allows teachers to send text messages to their students and/or parents and guardians cell phones without even knowing each student/teacher/parent/guardian's number. Basically, the teacher goes to the class pager website and clicks on "sign up your class for free." Once you sign up your class, you will get a specific code and you give that code to you students and/or their parents/guardians. When you give your students and their guardians the code, they text the class pager website with the specific code and they are automatically added to the class list. As the teacher, you can send messages either by phone or on the online website.

I think this is a great idea for students and teachers to be more involved in digital communication with one another. In this generation, almost every student and teacher has a cell phone and/or internet access. This is a great way to send last minute messages to your students for either upcoming assignments that are due (reminders), change of classroom location, or any other messages that are appropriate for classroom purposes. As teachers, we all know that students can be forgetful and this is one way that we can help students remember important assignments or information to keep them on top of things at school! Also, it's common that some students get embarrassed when they are asked to answer a question. Class pager allows an option called "realtime" where the students can text the code and answer the question and the teacher can collect the data to see what the students answered. There are so many ways you can use this technology in the classroom and I think it's worth a try even if you only experiment with it once!

With this type of technology, there are some drawbacks. Even though cell phones are very popular, not all of your students may have a phone. However, that's okay. As the teacher, you could make these reminders as an option for your students and parents/guardians. This technology will only benefit them so if they don't want to participate in it, that's okay! Another drawback of this is that you can't send private messages. I feel that's a good thing so that students and teachers can't text things to each other that isn't school appropriate. Once you have the class roster, every message that you send out, it goes to everyone on the list. Another drawback is that many schools don't allow cell phones in the classroom, or even on school grounds. So, if you have a last minute update, not all of the students might get it because of school cell phone policies. Another drawback is that you are only able to sign up for this site for free once. It only allows you to use it for free for your first class and after that, you have to pay a fee. Also, if students only have a limited amount of text they can send or receive, it could cause charges to be made to their bills. But again, this technology could be just an option for students, it doesn't have to be mandatory!

How I would use it in my own classroom:
If I had my own classroom, I would definitely experiment with this. I think it's great that you can send reminders to your students without knowing each other's phone numbers and since your messages are sent to everyone on the roster, you don't have to worry about inappropriate messages being sent between you and the student, you and the parent or guardian, or from student to student. It's very safe and classroom friendly! I would make this an option for students whether or not they want to receive updates or reminders. If not, it's their loss and hopefully they can remember everything! If I would send out updates, I would also include an alternative note such as an email or note on the classroom door if there are changes for the day. I would also make reminders the day before something is due in person during classroom. However, I think this idea is very clever and I would love to see how it works. If only I had my own classroom to try it out!

Link to where I found free technology for teachers:

Link to website for signing up:

Link to ways you can utilize this technology:


Byrne, Richard. "Class Pager-Text Your Class." Free Technology for Teachers-Free Resources and Lesson Plans for Teaching with Technology. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. .

Paper Cut-Out Individual Animation

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"When A Story Comes Alive"

Here is an example of what the final outcome might look like (one that I did):

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" from Amanda Kral on Vimeo.

Full lesson plan:

Lesson Plan 1.docx

Grade Level: 3rd Grade
Time Needed: Five Class Periods

Focus: The focus of this lesson is to read and comprehend a children's storybook and be able to bring the narration to life through paper cut outs by incorporating PhotoShop, iMovie, and GarageBand, to make a final animation movie.

a. The students will be able to identify the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion, and sequence. (
b. The students will be able to Identify how hardware such as digital still cameras, digital video camcorders, and computers are used for creation of media arts. (
c. The students will create original media artworks to express ideas, experiences, or stories. (

Motivational Resources:
•A PowerPoint will be shown to give some background information on professional animators and different examples of animations by using mediums such as sand, clay, whiteboard, pixilation, and paper cutouts.
•My blog, from this class, will be shown to give examples of simple cut out animations to give the kids a general idea of what an animation is and what this project might look like. These examples will hopefully be an inspiration on what the kids might want to do for their own projects.
•A "how-to" video on paper cutout animation will be shown so they get a brief idea on how the process is done.
•A physical demonstration on the process of how to do a cutout animation will be shown so the students get a fuller understanding on how the process works in creating their own paper cutout animation video.

Art Materials:
•Projector to show PowerPoint and blog to the students
•Familiar children books for students to choose from for their animation videos.
•Storyboard sheets to start brainstorming the narrative and how it will come to life
•Memory Card
•Animation stand (that holds the camera and allows you to shoot your film)
•Construction paper to create characters and scenery
•Pipe-cleaners, fluff balls, plastic eyes
•Any props that you wish to use for your story (carpet for grass, fake flowers, etc.)
•Scissors to cut out characters/objects
•Glue to hold objects together
•Computer access to load pictures
•PhotoShop to create animation
•GarageBand to add music to animation video
•iMovie to add titles, credits, endings, transitions, etc.

Introduction to the Lesson:
Animations were created first by artists who wanted to make characters/objects move with smooth transitions. To do this, they created flip books where drawings were done little by little on each page and when the story was done, you would go back to the beginning and flip through it where you could see your objects move. This is how current movies today were first made before all this new and improved technology was created. Finally, when televisions were invented, cartoons also were created to show on T.V. Many cartoons were first created by flipbooks where the artist would make objects/characters move. When the pictures were all put together, it made a smooth transitional story that came to life. As we all see today, many movies are being created from books that authors wrote and then animators will bring those books to life whether it's realistic (photographic/filmmaking) or fictional (cartoons). So, for this lesson, students will find a book that they really enjoy and make it come to life through an animation. The lesson will start out by doing it the "old fashioned flipbook way" and then later take it to a digital technique by taking photo after photo to make the pictures and narratives come alive through movement.

Bi-Weekly Report #5: "Lesson Plan Tips & Ideas"

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-Now that we are starting our first lesson plan for our animation projects, I found a great website that shows 5 important steps in how to make a successful lesson plan that will make your lesson run smoothly. The first step they talk about is starting out with something that is small and easy to do if you aren't familiar with incorporating technology in your classroom. The more simple that it is for you, the easier it will be for your students.
-The second step is to learn the material yourself. The more you know it, the more you will be comfortable teaching it to your students. It's very frustrating to students when the teacher doesn't even know what s/he is doing and for the record, your lesson will probably not be too successful.
-The third step is to actually plan your lesson on paper. Make sure to write down every step so that it's an easy guideline for you to refer to if you get off track or forget what is next. A step-by-step list is so important when teaching a lesson, it's a great tool to make sure your lesson goes as planned. Also when writing your lesson plan, jot down notes of problems that you encountered and how you fixed them just in case your students have the same problems. Basically, a lesson plan is for you to write down everything possible to make sure your teaching day goes smooth and is successful. In the end, you and your students will be pleased with the outcome. Sloppy lesson plans will make the whole day a mess and a frustration for your students.
-The fourth step is to get help and support from peers or professionals if you are using a technology tool that you aren't used to. This will ensure that all questions and problems you have can be quickly answered and you will feel more comfortable when using the technology equipment when teaching your lesson. We have to remember that we are always learning from others and that it doesn't hurt, even as teachers ourselves, to ask for help when learning something new. If you want to be a successful teacher, we have to acknowledge that we are constantly learning to keep up with the digital world.
-The fifth step is to be organized. The more organized you are, the better the lesson and day will go. Make sure you have all supplies ready and that you have a back up plan if something goes wrong. Some tips this website listed were: reserve the computer room in advance to make sure you have a guaranteed spot to do your lesson, make sure the equipment you are using is working properly ahead of time, and make sure you have enough materials so that every student can do the lesson (unless group work is involved). Reading over your lesson plan several times is also a great way to be prepared. If possible, do the lesson step-by-step on your own or with another teacher to see if the flow is successful.
-All these steps are important when teaching a new lesson that is technology and/or digital based especially if it's new to you as well. The more you are prepared, the better it will turn out for both you and your students. Remember, you can never be over prepared!!

Link to website:

Having a lesson plan for each day is so beneficial. It makes your day run very smooth and you have everything in a written document so you can't go off track (not very easily anyway!). It's a reference you can always go back to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Another plus of a lesson plan is that you can always reuse it in the future and tweak it if something didn't go so well. It's a great reference to share with other teachers as well. In the long run, having a lesson plan only benefits you and your students and you will be happy that you did one no matter what. It makes a teacher's life way more stress free!

There aren't many drawbacks of having a lesson plan that I could come up with. The only one really is that if your lesson plans are very disorganized and messy, your lesson could go very wrong and be frustrating to both your students and yourself. So, keep your lessons organized and tidy and you won't have any problems!

In My Own Classroom:
For every lesson that I teach, I will follow those 5 important steps to make sure that I can be the best teacher I can be. I want my students to benefit from every lesson I teach and I want them to find a purpose of why I do each lesson. If I know what I am doing at all times, my students will feel comfortable to ask me questions without hesitation and know that I am doing my best in teaching them the material. Lesson plans are the best things that ever happened to a teacher's career!

Here are some links to examples of lesson plans for digital projects:



**here is YouTube tutorial to go along with this website above:


4. (my favorite!)


Sasson, Dorit. "5 Lesson Planning Tips for Incorporating Technology." The Apple. 2011. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.

Bi-Weekly Report #4: "Keeping Parents Involved"

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As we all start becoming teachers, we have to remember that not only are we teaching students, but we also need parents to continue to be well informed in what their kids are learning and doing in the classroom so they can also be involved in the learning process. Parent involvement allows students to be able to go to them for help and support since the teacher can't always be there. Since almost all communication is now technology-based, I found a great website that shows you how to keep parents informed digitally/online. Teachers can build websites that have links to daily activities, grades, polices, private notes, newsletters, and calendars. This allows parents/guardians to be a click away from knowing what their kids are up to for the day and even the upcoming weeks so they can plan around it. I have seen from my own experience that sometimes when papers are sent home to parents, students tend to forget them or they get lost along the way. I mean, students aren't that well organized especially in the younger grades. If some parents don't have access to the online classroom, you can still keep it as an option to send hard copies home, but the digital way more reliable for parents and guardians to get the information in what's going on in the classroom.

Link to Website:

This website gave many options for free website creators:
Lunar Pages:

I feel that this option for teachers and parents is great. Teachers can be able to easily update things that are going on in the classroom daily and be able to plan well enough ahead of time for parents to be informed of what's going on. Parents can access this information anywhere there is internet access and don't have to worry about their kids either forgetting to verbally tell them what's going on, or losing handouts that teachers send home with the students. Another benefit is that if there are any changes at the last minute, teachers can go online and easily fix it without having to send another message home with students. This way also helps save trees. Go green!

As I mentioned before, some parents/guardians don't have access to the internet at all times so some students may still need a hard copy to bring home, which is okay too just in case parents haven't looked at the website in a while. Until everyone is ready for the digital world, both are a great idea to have.

In My Own Classroom:
When I have my own classroom someday, I will definitely create my own website using one of the above free websites (all look really great!). I think parents will really enjoy being able to check what their kids up are to that day with just a mouse click away. I will download my policies, assignment rubrics, upcoming events, etc. on there so parents can be really well informed on what's going on. I think this was a brilliant idea and I can't wait to incorporate into my own classroom!

Here are a couple of examples I found online of what teachers are doing right now!




Tenkely, Kelly. "Top 10 Technology Tips for New Teachers-4.Involve parents by creating a link between home and school. The Apple. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

Sand Animation Group Project

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To start out the lesson, here are some examples to get a better understanding of what sand animation looks like done by professionals:

Video Examples:

NO CORRAS TANTO Sand Animation from Cesarlinga on Vimeo.

Eatliz - Lose this child animation music video from Eatliz on Vimeo.

Here is a video of what we created as a group:

Sand Animation from Kassie Gibbons on Vimeo.


Necessary Materials:
-Light Table
-Mylar Sheet
-Sand (Different Colors Optional)
Optional Materials:
-Popsicle Sticks (To Draw)
-Q-Tips (To Draw)
-Paint Brushes (To Draw)
-Tissue Paper (Background)



Step 1: Prepare Your Station
-Gather all of your materials
-Tape the mylar sheet to the light table so it's an easy clean-up
-Put your camera on the tripod above the light table
-Turn on the light table

Step 2: Brainstorming
-Brainstorm an idea for the project. This includes characters, setting, plot, and ending.
**Note: Since this is your first project, try to keep your story and characters as simple as possible. It might get frustrating if your ideas and characters are complex because this is a very time-consuming activity.

Step 3: Adding Shapes
-When starting your project, only build a part of the shape/characters at a time, little by little. Then, take a picture.

Step 4: Making Smooth Transitions
-To add more and/or make things move, you change the shape little by little and taking a photo after every small move so that the video is very smooth when transitioning shapes or movements into something else.
**Tip: An additive or subtractive method creates these movements and forms your shapes into objects that you want in your video.


Step 5: Creating Your Video
-Import all of your photos into PhotoShop and follow the steps learned in class to create an animation video.
-Export your final video onto your desktop.

Step 6: Adding Sound/Music To Your Video
-Drag your exported video into GarageBand and play with sounds and music that could go along with your theme to your video.
-Export your video to your desktop and remember to save so you can share with others!


Murphy, Mary. Beginner's Guide to Animation. New York, NY: Watson-Guptil Publication. 2008. 28-33. Print.

Nathan, Yuval, and Merav Nathan. Eatliz-Lose This Child Animation Music Video. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.

Olsen, Michael. Sand Animation. 2007. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.

Bi-Weekly Report #3: "Digital Drawing Tablets"

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I found a research article done by Carol H. Faber who did a study on the traditional studio drawing methods to the new digital drawing tablet. Drawing is usually the first thing that is introduced to children as a work of art. Many drawings start out as just "mark-making" and slowly develop into more complex shapes and figures as years progress with practice. In this case study, there were 25 university students who took an experimental class where they compared the traditional way of drawing with the new digital way. These students had four assignments where they incorporated PhotoShop and other digital tools to enhance their drawings. Many students felt that they had to change their drawing techniques from the traditional way of drawing, which was a little difficult for them because they found it was very time consuming and frustrating but they were happier with the results than the old traditional way of drawing. Some students had more experience than others, but the majority of the students felt that drawing took a little more time on the tablets due to learning different techniques than what they were used to. Some of the students who had a little more experience with the tablets liked the digital aspect better because they could easily fix their mistakes. The majority of the students felt that this digital drawing class benefited them a lot. They got to experience other programs such as PhotoShop and got to work with other mediums other than your typical pencil or charcoal. Many students realized that found a certain style that matched to their old way of drawing and felt that once you know how to draw traditionally, you could easily catch on how to draw digitally. Another benefit of the digital drawing tablet is that students found you could incorporate the two by scanning hand-drawings and creating a sketch digitally that would help form your final rendering. Some students mentioned that the digital tablet lost tactical quality but overall improved their drawing skills and digital technology.
I found that this new technology has many benefits. I feel the best benefit is that this is great way for students to learn how to use digital media that both enhances their drawing skills and their digital skills. It's also awesome that students can combine the two so that the traditional way of drawing doesn't get lost with the digital way of drawing. Students also get to incorporate different mediums other than drawing tools.
Some negative outlooks to this new digital technology is that it's quite expensive and the ability to have every student get one for your class might be difficult. Another negative aspect is that some kids might like digital drawing so much better that their tactical quality might worsen than when you do traditional drawings.
As I look forward to having my own classroom someday, I feel that I would love to have this digital technology in my classroom. I would give the students a specific project that they would have to both create by your traditional drawing skills and then transfer that idea digitally. That way they don't lose their tactical qualities and they get a new way to learn how to draw and incorporate other mediums into their drawing that might be difficult the traditional way. Even if I got a few of them in my classroom, I would have my students take turns practicing so their knowledge in the digital world expands and they get to experience new artistic programs. Overall, I think case study was very successful in seeing how the two relate and are different. It's a great idea and I hope that I get the chance to learn how to use it!

Faber, Carol H. "Digital Drawing Tablet to Traditional Drawing on Paper-A Teaching Studio Comparison." Iowa State University College of Design. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.

Here is a link that better educates what a digital drawing tablet is:

Here is the link to the research study:

Many older generation teachers today don't have much experience with digital technology and have a hard time incorporating it into their classrooms. It's not that they don't want to embrace the new world of digital art, but it's more that they don't know how because they haven't had the proper training. It's very important in this new generation that we both incorporate the new and old and not have either one be over bearing or on the other hand, get lost. Teachers today have to realize that we need to prepare students for the global workforce, and as we all know the world is continuing to advance in digital media. Another debate to talk about is that many older teachers have been in the school system for so many years and don't like "change." This isn't fair to incoming new teachers because the older generation teachers don't like the new ways that art is being utilized. This is a situation that both harm the school system and more importantly, the students who are "our future." If we don't prepare our future generations, advancement will not happen and it's an important factor in enhancing our global communities. If teachers don't have the experience of this new artistic style of digital media, they need to educate themselves to give our future a better outlook whether they like it or not. As new teachers are coming into the school systems, the more "new knowledge" is going to be present and we need to make sure that everyone is on the same page so we can work together to learn and create new artistic styles through digital media. School systems either need to have workshops where teachers can keep up with the advancement in technology, or the new incoming teachers need to help the older generation teachers learn the new ways of what art is becoming.

Bi-Weekly Report #1: "Blogging"

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Now that schools are really focusing on trying to integrate technology into their lessons, projects, and another form of communication, blogging is a great way to get students to be online and be able to familiarize themselves with the Internet and learn how to communicate with others with social networking. I found a great tool from that provided a way to make a safe "how-to" blog for teachers and their students. It gave purposes for blogs, feedback from other teachers, how to start one up for your class, how to evaluate or grade students' work, and how to incorporate them with your lessons and assignments. This is a great way for students to interact with each other while as learning how to be online. Another perk of blogs is that it has a 24/7 access so students don't have to be just in class to have discussions with their peers or teachers. Also, many students would rather put their thoughts and ideas online rather than discuss them in classroom lectures. I feel that blogging is a great way to start kids/students off to learning a basic technology skill that the 21st century has to offer. The younger students have the ability to be online, the better knowledge they will get in what the future has in technology. The best part about blogging, it's easy and many are free to access!

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Recent Comments

  • Betsy Hunt: This is interesting. One thing that I advise is not read more
  • Betsy Hunt: All of these tips are essential. I have had my read more
  • Betsy Hunt: Great work Amanda. I loved some of the teacher sites read more
  • Betsy Hunt: Drawing tablets are great. I got one a year ago read more
  • Betsy Hunt: Yes I agree. We need to prepare students for a read more

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