5 websites to help students build media literacy skills

Teaching students how to identify high-quality news begins with building solid media literacy skills

Over the past couple years, students have been inundated with a near-steady stream of information and headlines about politics, racial and social unrest, the pandemic, and more. Helping students form discerning media literacy skills is even more essential.

Students must understand how to recognize reputable information and how to identify credible, high-quality journalism. Bias is everywhere, and it’s necessary for young people today to identify it and call it out.

Identifying bias and forming strong media literacy and evaluation skills starts in the classroom. Teachers need resources to illustrate the importance of these skills, and it’s never too early to expose students to news outlets and point out the difference between high-quality and suspect news.

Here are 5 resources to help students evaluate information and build strong media literacy skills:

1. CNN 10 offers video segments in 10-minute chunks, which teachers can use to introduce or augment a lesson. The AT&T’s Youth Voices Collective offers videos on objectivity in journalism, checking sources, on-camera delivery, and effective newswriting.

2. DOGOnews works to empower literacy, reading fluency, and global awareness through current events and books. The site offers digestible news stories written for kids, and teachers can search by grade or content categories.

3. Newsela is a news-as-literacy instructional platform that takes authentic, real world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels, so content is accessible to every learner.

4. YR Media is a national network of young journalists and artists that collaborates with peers around the country and top media professionals to create content that matters. The site features many hotly-debated news topics sure to spark debate and analysis.

5. The Learning Network, from The New York Times, publishes about 1,000 teaching resources each school year, all based on using Times content–articles, essays, images, videos, graphics and podcasts–as teaching tools across subject areas.

Laura Ascione
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