Monday, November 22, 2010

Analyzing Alcohol Advertisements: Resources for Educators

NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with Frank W. Baker or The Media Literacy Clearinghouse. I write this on my own free will with the purpose of passing on an incredible resources to other teachers!

Frank W. Baker is a media literacy expert who runs the Media Literacy Clearinghouse.  The clearinghouse contains information regarding media literacy and its application to a variety of topics, including health topics such as alcohol, body image, food, sex, and tobacco. Each section contains downloadable articles, lesson plans, sample advertisements, and links for more information that every health educator should check out! I frequently use his links to alcohol advertisements for a carousel activity (I should post about that soon...) with my seventh graders. Mr. Baker has all angles covered, and his website is very comprehensive with that information is provides.

Baker also covers additional topics, such as bias, media art, and propaganda, to name a few. This makes it easy for teachers of separate subjects to plan cross-curricular activities relating to their course content with colleagues. His website is a valuable resource for any health educator who wants to tie media literacy into their various units.  Occasionally, some of the links will be broken or outdated; a Google search usually fixes this. It would be relatively easy for teachers to design webquests featuring The Media Literacy Clearinghouse, which could easily work out to the higher level, critical thinking skills that are vital for students to learn. So, please check out The Media Literacy Clearinghouse!

As always, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's been quite some time since I've updated, especially after my frequent posting during the month of October. A lot of exciting things are happening with work and other areas of my life, and I plan on sharing a lot of that here on the blog. This post is only to let the seventy or so readers who find themselves here throughout the week that there will be more posts soon!

Check back later in the week; I have two posts in in draft mode and some more working out in my head, too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sixth Grade Menu Project

EDIT: This is an assignment from one point in time and I have since changed the requirements for this assignment twice since I posted! I'm always trying to make work more challenging or thought provoking. Please keep that in mind as you read this post!

I apologize for not posting in a few weeks! I was busier than anticipated, and we're in the middle of some project work at middle school. Recently my hits have increased a lot; I'm averaging about ten unique visits a day now from Google searches! Please keep checking back! 

When I originally started this blog during my first year of teaching, I posted about a menu project assignment that my sixth graders had completed as an assessment for part of their nutrition unit. I deleted that post when I returned to the blog, so I am posting about the updated lesson here.

I love this project, especially the creative aspect of it, but I think in the future I will be moving a little away from this as the only summative assessment for the nutrition unit. Ultimately, I also want to make sure the students are able to show me they have the skills needed to make healthy food choices, and there are so many ways to do this that I could do almost anything. Also, I mention that we use a nutrition unit out of the Michigan Model, which is true; however, we do take some lessons and teach them in eighth grade.

Below you will find a Jing video with a brief explanation of the menu project. Other assessments I include during the nutrition unit include a three-day food log and a "Shop 'til You Drop" activity I found online (a post on that should happen soon!). I didn't want to take too much time explaining the project in this video (my Jing account only allows for five minutes to be recorded) but I think I get the point across. In the past, I have taken "oils" out of the picture but decided to include it again this year. Many menus have unique themes to them and my students usually create them around a theme that interests them.

If you see anyway I could improve upon this, please let me know! Check out the Jing video below for a brief overview of our menu project.

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