The Media Investigations curriculum offers learners the tools and techniques for critically analyzing today's media. From magazines to the nightly news, media controls information, images, and events. The lessons contained in the following unit are designed to increase your students' awareness of the media's perspectives and to evaluate the messages promoted through those perspectives. Stations are set up at different computers to allow several groups to work on different tasks at the same time. Specific stations include Deconstructing and Constructing Magazine Covers, The Great American Soda Taste Test, A Scavenger Hunt of Hoaxes, and a Consumer Database.

"Media Literacy education seeks to give media consumers greater freedom by teaching them to analyze, access, evaluate and produce media." - New Mexico Media Literacy Project

Student Pages

Online Student Activity



*Four computers if doing all stations simultaneously. **If no Internet access is available, copy the hoaxes pages and distribute one set to each group.


The following online resources may be of use as you are using this lesson in your classroom.

The On-line Visual Literacy Project Pomona College in Claremont, California, developed this site to describe and give examples of visual literacy. Included are the basic visual elements-graphics, explanations, and some animation.

Media Literacy Organization This site, produced by the University of Southern Califorinia's communication department in collaboration with the Center for Media Literacy, includes K-12 book reviews, articles, educational materials, and updates on conferences being held at USC or Southern California.

Taos Media Literacy Project Canada's Media Awareness Network Just Think Foundation Looksharp


  1. Make copies of all needed handouts.
  2. Set up stations with necessary materials, software and handouts.
  3. Make sure software applications are running properly.
  4. Divide students into small work groups (3-5 members)
  5. Determine amount of time to be spent at each Station. 30-50 minutes is acceptable.
  6. Give complete instructions: Students will have [30-50] minutes to complete the tasks at each station. At the end of the set time allotment, groups move to next station. When all stations have been completed by all groups, each group will present its products.



When all groups have cycled through all stations, bring them back together as a class. Have each group present its findings to the others. Some of the ways to assess learners during and after this set of activities include:

Discuss what motivated the creation of these products and how this set of activities has impacted students' ways of looking at media.


Suggestions for discussion:

Downloading and Printing Files

These pages can be downloaded to your computer as files. Files can then be opened and printed. You can choose from two file formats:

Microsoft document format opens the files in Microsoft Word. You can make changes in the pages before printing them.

Acrobat Reader or Portable Document Format (pdf) opens the files in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Pages cannot be edited in this format. However, .pdf files are less likely to be distorted. Pages that contain graphics or large images look better in .pdf and print very nicely. For your convenience, Acrobat Reader can be accessed from this page.

Microsoft Word (.doc)

Media Investigations Lesson and all resources

Acrobat Reader (.pdf)

Media Investigations Lesson and all resources

About Acrobat Reader

Files in the .pdf format can be read using Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is a free software. You can download and install it by clicking on the link below.

GO TO: Acrobat Reader Download Page

Content Standards