• Inspiring young people to engage with media in
    thoughtful & creative ways that support well-being.

Media Literacy for Safe & Healthy Choices 2.0

Media Literacy Curriculum for Grades 4-5

This highly engaging educational resource contains lessons on how media and technology shape our habits and attitudes around wellness while engaging students in a hands-on health fair project. New topics include vaping, infographics, reality TV,  stress management, and community. This curriculum has 12 lessons distributed across three pillars of health (brain, body, and being) and includes three health fair planning lessons.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Reflects changing technology. The curriculum continues to address traditional wellness topics like nutrition and substance use in TV advertising and packaging alongside new content on vaping and stress management within the context of social media, gaming, and news stories.
  • Designed for maximum flexibility. While the final project creates a vehicle for students to practice advocating for their well-being, the lessons can also be taught as stand-alone learning experiences or woven into an existing unit.
  • Optimized for engagement and effectiveness. There are numerous opportunities for students to build social-emotional skills as well as showcase their creativity and have fun. 
  • Includes adaptable health fair & project-based assessment. We recognize that each school/class is unique, and so we’ve designed the final health fair project to be held at a scale that works best for you and your community, whether that’s creating a mobile exhibit that one class brings to another, a signature event at a community hospital, or something in between.
  • Meets national and state learning standards in multiple disciplines. This curriculum is included in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is aligned with the Common Core, and has been evaluated and proven effective by the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

What's Included in the Curriculum?

The curriculum begins by introducing students to the health fair project and familiarizing them with the underlying concepts of media literacy and well-being. In the first few lessons, students explore nutrition, representation, and vaping, considering driving questions such as how media can be used to build healthy habits and what makes something cool. 

Next, the curriculum takes a turn toward advocacy in which students learn about understanding and communicating to a particular audience. Students will discover that they have agency in shaping their communities by their individual actions and the way they collaborate with others. 

Following this advocacy turn, students dig deeper into media messaging around nutrition, stress management, and substance use, developing their own critical questions when engaging with media featuring these topics. These lessons incorporate popular media genres, such as reality TV/streaming shows and social media. 

The final two lessons provide planning time for the health fair and the opportunity for peer-to-peer feedback on the products students produced along the way. Contextualizing the learning experience in this kind of real-world event creates authenticity and helps students envision how to apply classroom knowledge to life.

How Do I Get Started?

Media Literacy for Safe & Healthy Choices 2.0 includes comprehensive professional learning materials to help teachers build media literacy knowledge and instructional skills for quick and confident curriculum implementation.

All lesson plans are provided in Google Docs formats. You also have access to an “Assets” folder, with separate folders for each lesson. Here you will find any worksheets, slide presentations, and PDF handouts that go along with the lessons. Worksheets and homework sheets are generally located at the end of each lesson plan. Submit an inquiry to get more info and access.

Media Power Youth also offers in-person curriculum training for groups of 10 or more educators. We can customize training for specific teams, including a discussion of recent research, as well as best practices for implementation. We also provide consulting services to help schools address media-related issues impacting learning and student life. Contact us for more information.