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Compare and Contrast

Media Literacy Activity

Individual Exercise, Grades 9-12

In this exercise students will compare articles in order to hone their media literacy skills. This exercise can be done by using at least two articles on Worldpress.org.

  1. Select two or more Worldpress.org articles.

  2. For each article:

    1. Reflect on the article as you read it and then write down your impressions, thoughts, reactions, etc. in a journal.

    2. Summarize the article in 20 words exactly. If, while writing your summary, you want to add anything to your journal entry, feel free to do so.

    3. Think of and write down three questions inspired by the article. These can include (but aren’t limited to) questions about a person or event that the article mentioned, questions about the subject of the article, questions about the author’s bias, etc.

  3. Once you have read and done the above for all the articles, chronicle how your reactions evolved as you read more on the subject of the package in any of the following formats: (a) an explanatory paragraph or mini-essay (b) a timeline (c) a table (d) another type of graphic representation. The following questions can help you give order to the feelings, thoughts and questions that you wrote in your journal:

  4. Now find one or two articles from the U.S. press on the same topic as the articles you read from Worldpress.org. Journal write, summarize and draft questions for the U.S. article(s) as you did for the others. Then compare and contrast the different articles considering, among other things (a) the assumptions they make (b) the tone they use (c) their implied audience (d) their slant (e) their degree of objectivity. Which articles did you find the most reliable? Why? Which did you find the least reliable? The comparison can either take the form of a mini-essay or of a table.

    1. Did your impressions of the subject change as you proceeded from one article to the next? How? Why?

    2. Did reading a later article make you question or distrust something that you had read earlier? Why? Did you eventually come to any conclusion about which interpretation was more reliable?

    3. Did you feel that the different articles built up your knowledge of the subject?

    4. Did the different points of view complement or contradict one another?

    5. Did later articles answer any of the questions you had written for the earlier articles you read?

    6. How did your questions change as you read more articles?

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