Talking Back and Redesigning Texts: Critical Media Literacy for Elementary Students in an Afterschool Program
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A critical media literacy approach where teachers focus on the notion of critique, ideology, and encourage critical analysis of race, class, gender, and sexuality (Kelner & Share, 2007) is an important aspect of literacy learning for students of all ages. Internationally, many countries focus on critical media literacy (Buckingham, 2003a; Tyner, 2010; Hoechsmann & Poyntz, 2012; Pandya & Ávila, 2013; Kotilainen & Kupiainen, 2015). However, in the United States, there is very little integration of media literacy in the school curriculum. With the pervasiveness of popular media in children’s lives, it is important to explore how children build understanding and even deconstruct the media as they develop their own identities and sense of selves (Gainer, Valdez-Gainer & Kinard, 2009). The purpose of this article is to describe a critical media literacy program used with upper elementary students, ages 9-11. Our guiding question is, how can teachers encourage students to express and understand the meanings of advertisements, TV shows, and other texts using a critical media literacy approach?