By Erin McNeill, MLN president

I  just came across this exciting story of an elementary class media literacy project that is an absolutely fantastic example of the use of media literacy across the curriculum, and how engaging and powerful media literacy education can be.

These 4th and 5th graders conducted a research project, wrote about it, created an art project incorporating media skills demonstrating an alternative marketing strategy, wrote letters to the company, and produced a website to show their work and results.

Science, math, literacy, art, social studies, media technology, civic engagement – this project covers just about everything.

Here’s a graphic they created to show the results of their research:

lego presentation.004

According to the Human Rights Campaign story, Michele Hatchell, an art and social studies teacher at Shorewood Hills Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin, worked with students on the project and collected the student’s research, letters, artwork and photos to create www.WhatItIsIsBeautiful.com.

“This project is lovely because it gives the kids a voice as they talk about this and communicate via art, writing and research.” Hatchell said. “They have learned so much and will learn by being teachers, too, as people look at the site.”

1981-lego-ad

Their alternative ads were inspired by Lego’s now-famous 1981 “What it is is beautiful” ad.Lego alternative ads

The lesson plan is available here. I have just added this to our resources page.

More about the Welcoming Schools project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and their other resources on gender stereotyping.