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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about digital literacy and media literacy in your classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine

Spotting Fake Photos

It can feel like social media is flooded with fake photos designed to trick you. It’s becoming a big problem, but you can take steps to avoid being fooled. Read this article to learn how to browse smarter—and safer.

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Evaluating Sources
Analyze sources for a research report.
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Sum It Up
Write an objective summary of the text.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Ads Hidden on Social Media

As social media becomes a bigger part of our lives, companies are scrambling to keep up. Some of them have started hiding advertisements in plain sight, right in the middle of your social media feed. Can you tell a post from an ad?

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Cite Text Evidence
Use text evidence to answer the questions.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Are You Hooked on Your Phone?

Info on your smartphone is designed to grab your attention and keep it—the average teen spends 4.6 hours a day on their phone! Find out why it’s so hard to put down your phone—and then learn some tips to make it a little easier.

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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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All About Fake News

Fake news isn’t just a problem for internet users. The flood of fake news in our social media has started to have some very serious real-world effects. Learn the real facts about fake news and how you can keep from falling for it.

Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Quotes
 

Famous quotes about digital literacy

“Media literacy is not just important, it’s absolutely critical. It’s going to make the difference between whether kids are a tool of the mass media or whether the mass media is a tool for kids to use.”

— Linda Ellerbee, journalist

“No matter what the source, information is only powerful if students know what to do with it. As students are inundated with media messages, the challenge is not to amass more information, but to access, organize, and evaluate useful information from a variety of print and electronic sources.”

— Kathleen Turner, author

“There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power.”

— Matt Taibbi, author and journalist

“Just as we would not traditionally assume that someone is literate if they can read but not write, we should not assume that someone possesses media literacy if they can consume but not express themselves.”

— Henry Jenkins, author

Key Figures
 

Four people who made an impact on digital literacy

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web. The British computer engineer created the first web browser and set up the world’s first website in 1991. He also devised Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), a widely used computer programming language.

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is the co-creator and chief executive officer of Facebook, a powerful social networking site with global reach. Since its creation in 2004, Facebook has grown into a multibillion dollar company with more than 1 billion users.

Susan Wojcicki

Wojcicki is one of the country’s most powerful technology executives. She was one of Google’s first employees and advocated successfully for Google to buy YouTube, a video-sharing website, in 2006. Today, Wojcicki runs YouTube as its chief executive officer.

Steve Jobs

As co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc., Jobs helped develop and popularize user-friendly personal computers in the 1970s. He went on to transform the way people access and listen to music by helping develop the iPod. Later, he influenced the way people use cell phones with the introduction of the iPhone.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to digital and media literacy

alternative media

noun

news and entertainment outlets, especially on the internet, that are not part of the mainstream media

mainstream media

noun

traditional forms of mass communication, such as newspapers, TV, and radio

media literacy

noun

the ability to choose reliable news sources, identify news and other forms of communication and understand the messages being communicated

product placement

noun

an advertising technique used to subtly promote a company’s products through placement in TV shows, movies, video games, and other media

propaganda

noun

false or exaggerated ideas spread in media and speeches to help or cause damage to a political cause

skew

verb

to make biased in a way that is inaccurate, unfair, or misleading

Explore Other Topics

Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources from Junior Scholastic magazine.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

The Civil Rights Movement

Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

The Civil Rights Movement

Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

MachineHead/Getty (students); Thomas P. Peschak/National Geographic Creative (real shark image); Instagram (Selena Gomez post); Dean Belcher/Getty Images (eating cereal); iStockPhoto.com/Getty Images (Computer); David Sucsy/Getty Images (White House); Aaron Foster/Getty Images (UFOs); Felipe Trueba/EPA/Shutterstock (Berners-Lee); Taylor Hill/Getty (Zuckerberg); Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25 (Wojcicki); Alexandra Wyman/Getty (Jobs)