Media Literacy in History

Our House (Madness)

Our House (Kid British) 

Our House Lesson Plan

Suggestions for further ML integration in History topics:

America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation – students investigate depictions of manifest destiny / expansion and encounters with Native Americans in film (eg Dances with Wolves, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Last of the Dogmen). The media literacy focus is on the ideology ofwhite savior’ films, how these texts represent the transition to living on reservations and displacement, developing critical perspectives on how cinema portrays effects on Native Americans, the figure of the “Noble Savage” and the myth of the “lost tribe”. Resource: History Buffs: Dances with Wolves

Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship - The Völkischer Beobachter was the newspaper of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party from 1920. It first appeared weekly, then daily from 8 February 1923. For 25 years it formed part of the official public face of the Nazi party. The media literacy focus is on the ideological function of this paper in the build up to WWII, using still image analysis, semiotics and media language analysis to connect the ‘micro’ elements to the broader ideological objectives. After analysing translated examples, students construct their own newspapers, drawing on the themes present but presenting counter-ideological versions. Resource: History Learning Site

The Cold War, students explore representations in film: Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe,

The Woman on Pier 13, The Manchurian Candidate, Encounter at the Elbe. The media literacy focus is on realism, discourses and ideology (see the main case study below). Resource: Dr Strangelove study guide.

Conflict and tension in Asia, 1950–1975 – students analyse representations of the Vietnam War from both US and Vietnamese perspectives. The media literacy focus is the portrayal of the Vietnam War in two films, one Vietnamese and the other American, both made in 1979: Canh Dong Hoang (The Wild Rice Field) and Apocalypse Now. Again, the analytical ‘toolkit’ is realism, discourse and ideology (see the main case study below).

Resource: Apocalypse Now Sparknotes 

Conflict and tension, 1990–2009 – a media literacy case study on selection, construction, media language and mode of address in the US media coverage of the Iraq War (eg Fox News and other networks, the FAIR study on media reporting). Study concepts include news values, bias and gatekeeping (see ‘Outfoxed’). Depending on course design, students might link this analysis to their studies of Germany, Vietnam and / or the Cold War. Resource: Outfoxed

Britain: Migration, empires, and the people: c790-present – a media literacy analysis of how the modern interest in Vikings is mediated across platforms – eg the 2014 British Museum exhibition and the Vikings TV series. The analysis uses semiotics to compare the curation of physical artefacts in the museum with the visualization of narratives on-screen.

Norman England – researching multi-platform depictions: 1066: The Battle for Middle Earth TV Series, Battle of Hastings BBC Web game, 1066 Armor Game. The media literacy focus is on how these different media products share key themes, what different elements do they foreground? How is history mediated across these formats – what is the same, what is different? Resource: Battle of Hastings game

Spirit of 45 Film Ed Study Guide

Benefits Street: Newsnight debate

Benefits Street: ‘The Last Word’

I, Daniel Blake

Spirit of 13 project site