Type:

Unit

Description:

This 6-8 week unit draws upon social studies, media literacy and inquiry to explore how social networks and media technologies promote and disrupt democratic practices. It is intended for middle grade students (grades 6th-8th). The unit is organized in 3 major sections: Communication Timeline Inquiry (Week 1-2), First Amendment and Cyber Rights Inquiry / Webquest (Week 3-4) and Free Cyber Speech and Internet Safety Public Service Productions (Week 5-8)

Subjects:

  • Educational Technology > General
  • Educational Technology > Integrating Technology into the Classroom
  • Educational Technology > Using Multimedia & the Internet
  • Information & Media Literacy > General
  • Information & Media Literacy > Evaluating Sources
  • Information & Media Literacy > Media Ethics
  • Information & Media Literacy > Online Safety
  • Language Arts > General
  • Language Arts > Listening & Speaking
  • Language Arts > Reading Comprehension
  • Language Arts > Research
  • Language Arts > Writing
  • Social Studies > General
  • Social Studies > Current Events
  • Social Studies > Global Awareness
  • Social Studies > Technology

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10

Keywords:

Media Literacy Democracy Free Speech

Language:

English

Access Privileges:

Members

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Collections:

None
Update Standards?

SOC.8.US.8.2.6: History-Social Science

Enumerate the powers of government set forth in the Constitution and the fundamental liberties ensured by the Bill of Rights.

SOC.8.US.8.3.7: History-Social Science

Understand the functions and responsibilities of a free press.

SOC.12.AD.12.2.1: History-Social Science

Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy).

SOC.12.AD.12.2.5: History-Social Science

Describe the reciprocity between rights and obligations; that is, why enjoyment of one's rights entails respect for the rights of others.

SOC.12.AD.12.3.1: History-Social Science

Explain how civil society provides opportunities for individuals to associate for social, cultural, religious, economic, and political purposes.

SOC.12.AD.12.3.2: History-Social Science

Explain how civil society makes it possible for people, individually or in association with others, to bring their influence to bear on government in ways other than voting and elections.

SOC.12.AD.12.8.1: History-Social Science

Discuss the meaning and importance of a free and responsible press.

SOC.12.AD.12.8.2: History-Social Science

Describe the roles of broadcast, print, and electronic media, including the Internet, as means of communication in American politics.

SOC.12.AD.12.8.3: History-Social Science

Explain how public officials use the media to communicate with the citizenry and to shape public opinion.

LA.6.LA.6.6.3.2: Reading and Language Arts

demonstrate the ability to select and ethically use media appropriate for the purpose, occasion, and audience.

LA.6.LA.6.6.4.1: Reading and Language Arts

use appropriate available technologies to enhance communication and achieve a purpose (e.g., video, online); and

LA.7.LA.7.6.3.1: Reading and Language Arts

analyze ways that production elements (e.g.,, graphics, color, motion, sound, digital technology) affect communication across the media;

LA.7.LA.7.6.3.2: Reading and Language Arts

demonstrate ability to select and ethically use media appropriate for the purpose, occasion, and audience; and

LA.7.LA.7.6.3.3: Reading and Language Arts

distinguish between propaganda and ethical reasoning strategies in print and nonprint media.

LA.8.LA.8.6.3.1: Reading and Language Arts

analyze ways that production elements (e.g., graphics, color, motion, sound, digital technology) affect communication across the media;

LA.8.LA.8.6.3.2: Reading and Language Arts

demonstrate the ability to select and ethically use print and nonprint media appropriate for the purpose, occasion, and audience to develop into a formal presentation; and

LA.8.LA.8.6.3.3: Reading and Language Arts

distinguish between propaganda and ethical reasoning strategies in print and nonprint media.

LA.9-10.LA.910.6.2.4: Reading and Language Arts

understand the importance of legal and ethical practices, including laws regarding libel, slander, copyright, and plagiarism in the use of mass media and digital sources, know the associated consequences, and comply with the law.

LA.9-10.LA.910.6.3.1: Reading and Language Arts

distinguish between propaganda and ethical reasoning strategies in print and nonprint media;

SS.C.2.3.1: Social Studies

understands the history of the rights, liberties, and obligations of citizenship in the United States.

SS.C.2.3.3: Social Studies

understands the argument that all rights have limits and knows the criteria commonly used in determining when and why limits should be placed on rights

SS.C.2.3.4: Social Studies

understands what constitutes personal, political, and economic rights and the major documentary sources of these rights.

SS.C.2.3.6: Social Studies

understands the importance of participation in community service, civic improvement, and political activities.

SS.C.2.3.7: Social Studies

understands current issues involving rights that affect local, national, or international political, social, and economic systems.

SS.C.2.4.3: Social Studies

understands issues of personal concern: the rights and responsibilities of the individual under the U.S. Constitution, the importance of civil liberties, the role of conflict resolution and compromise, and issues involving ethical behavior in politics.

SS.C.2.4.5: Social Studies

understands how personal, political, and economic rights are secured by constitutional government and by such means as the rule of law, checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and a vigilant citizenry.

SS.C.2.4.7: Social Studies

knows the points at which citizens can monitor or influence the process of public policy formation.

SOC.7.SS.7.C.2.4: Social Studies

Evaluate rights contained in the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the Constitution.

SOC.7.SS.7.C.2.5: Social Studies

Distinguish how the Constitution safeguards and limits individual rights.

SOC.7.SS.7.C.2.10: Social Studies

Examine the impact of media, individuals, and interest groups on monitoring and influencing government.

SOC.7.SS.7.C.2.11: Social Studies

Analyze media and political communications (bias, symbolism, propaganda).

SOC.7.SS.7.C.3.1: Social Studies

Compare different forms of government (direct democracy, representative democracy, socialism, communism, monarchy, oligarchy, autocracy).

SOC.7.SS.7.C.3.5: Social Studies

Explain the Constitutional amendment process.

SOC.7.SS.7.C.3.6: Social Studies

Evaluate Constitutional rights and their impact on individuals and society.

SOC.8.SS.8.C.1.5: Social Studies

Apply the rights and principles contained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights to the lives of citizens today.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.1.1: Social Studies

Evaluate, take, and defend positions on the founding ideals and principles in American Constitutional government.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.2: Social Studies

Evaluate the importance of political participation and civic participation.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.3: Social Studies

Experience the responsibilities of citizens at the local, state, or federal levels.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.4: Social Studies

Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues that cause the government to balance the interests of individuals with the public good.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.6: Social Studies

Evaluate, take, and defend positions about rights protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.7: Social Studies

Explain why rights have limits and are not absolute.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.8: Social Studies

Analyze the impact of citizen participation as a means of achieving political and social change.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.9: Social Studies

Identify the expansion of civil rights and liberties by examining the principles contained in primary documents.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.12: Social Studies

Explain the changing roles of television, radio, press, and Internet in political communication.

SOC.9-12.SS.912.C.2.15: Social Studies

Evaluate the origins and roles of political parties, interest groups, media, and individuals in determining and shaping public policy.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2009-12-13.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This comprehensive 6-8 week unit is intended for middle school students and focuses on social networks, media technologies, democracy and students’ rights and responsibilities. The unit is very well organized, including a detailed unit overview, alignment with NCTE / IRA standards, comprehensive outline of necessary teacher preparation, high-quality web (and other) resources, well-written lessons and relevant assessments. Mini-lessons and student activities include timelines, persuasive letters, drama skits, webquests, debates and service learning projects. Students will ultimately create service-learning projects concerning Internet safety and the role media technologies have in providing them a voice in a democratic society. This unit promises to be engaging to young adolescents and will elicit some excellent discussion among students at a time in their lives where this sort of critical thinking is crucial for their social development.
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Janet Pinto
August 12, 2015
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Karen Fasimpaur
July 7, 2010

Great resources on topics that are so critically important to get students (and ourselves) thinking about. Thank you.

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Christine Mytko

What an excellent unit! I can't wait to try it out in my middle school technology class. The web resources are especially strong in this unit - thanks for compiling them!

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