How to Use Cereal Boxes to Teach Media Literacy

Teaching Media Literacy to young children can be a challenge, so use something they are familiar with to get them hooked.  Get students looking at cereal boxes with intention and they will notice lots of media elements that they never noticed before.  I created this Cereal Box Media Literacy Unit to teach those expectations in a fun way and in a way I can tie in the Health curriculum as well.

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating curriculum

As an Ontario teacher, Media Literacy is one of the strands within our Language curriculum to be assessed and taught.   I am being honest when I say that I struggled to find a meaningful way to teach and assess Media Literacy.  There is so much to teach, so fitting it in was a challenge.

Today I want to share with my solution - integration!  I now teach Media Literacy expectations embedded into my healthy eating curriculum and incorporate math, visual arts and oral communication too.  I use cereal boxes as a means to teach the media literacy skills my students need.  Now I am getting much more bang for my buck in terms of covering the curriculum and assessing my students.

This is what I created:

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating curriculum

There is a lot of content in this unit.  It provides everything you need to use cereal boxes to teach Media Literacy.  The beauty of it is you can pick and choose how much you want to use and still teach the content you need to cover.  

Within the lessons, I have included links to resources on the internet to make it easy for teachers to find exactly what they need to share with their students for each lesson.  No more failed google searches to find what you want!  #win.  

Students can complete a number of graphic organizers to not only plan their cereal box but to think critically about media elements used in cereal box packaging.  If at all possible ask parents to save cereal boxes for you so that you have good collection of different kinds of boxes - healthy and not so healthy choices.  Over the year I have amassed a class set of cereal boxes I can pull out.  

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating curriculum

After looking at cereal boxes and investigating what media elements food package designers use they are ready to design their own.  

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating curriculum

When they are all finished with the project there is a rubric you can use to assess their media literacy expectations as well as some oral language expectations if you choose to have your students orally present their cereal box designs.  

There has been so much positive feedback about this unit and with that usually comes some helpful feedback as well.  
As a result of that last piece of feedback, I took a closer look at this product to see what I could add that would add value to the product and be a relevant and useful addition.  I came up with the idea of adding a board game to the back of the box.  Many children's cereals have had games on the back so this seemed like an ideal pairing.  Teachers could now teach probability expectations using a real-world connection.  

The new and improved product now includes a series of lessons to cover the probability strand of Math.  

Students start out exploring board games like this one and determine if the game/spinner is fair or unfair.  

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating and math curriculum
They investigate further with spinners.  

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating and math curriculum
Finally, students have a choice of game boards to choose from to create their own board game and spinner.  I am sure students will have a lot of fun playing each other's board games.  

Use cereal boxes to teach media literacy skills and integrate into your healthy eating and math curriculum

If you already purchased the unit then head over to my store and download the new and improved version.  



Thanks for stopping by 
Until next time, 

No comments

Back to Top