CoverIntroduction and Table of Media Literacy Activities for Key Civics ConceptsDefining Critical Media Literacy1. Foundations of the United States Political SystemDemocracy in Social Media Policies and Community StandardsThe Internet as a Public Utility21st Century Women STEM InnovatorsMedia Coverage of the RoyalsRepresentations of Native Americans in Film, Local History Publications, and School Mascots2. The Development of United States GovernmentDeclarations of Independence on Social MediaMarketing and Regulating Self-Driving CarsRepresentations of and Racism Toward Black Americans in the MediaPolitical Debates Through Songs from Hamilton: An American MusicalBill of Rights on Twitter3. Institutions of United States GovernmentHollywood Movies About the Branches of GovernmentWriting an Impeachment Press ReleaseMembers of Congress' Use of Social MediaPolitical Impacts of Public Opinion PollsWebsite Design for New Political Parties4. The Rights and Responsibilities of CitizensImmigration in the NewsPortrayals of Immigrants in Television and FilmCOVID-19 Information EvaluationWomen Political Leaders in the MediaOnline Messaging by Advocacy Organizations and Special Interest GroupsDigital Games for Civic EngagementSocial Media and the ElectionsMedia Spin in the Coverage of Political DebatesCelebrities' Influence on PoliticsPolitical Activism Through Social MediaMedia Recruitment of Public Sector WorkersImages of Teachers and TeachingRepresenting Trans IdentitiesMedia Framing of the Events of January 6, 2021Music as Protest ArtPACs, Super PACs, and Unions in the Media5. The Constitution, Amendments and Supreme Court DecisionsProhibition in the MediaThe Equal Rights Amendment on Twitter and Other Social MediaCivil War News Stories and Recruitment AdvertisementsRepresentations of Gender and Race on CurrencyThe Equality Act on TwitterReading Supreme Court Dissents AloudTelevision Cameras in Courtrooms6. The Structure of State and Local GovernmentNative American Mascots and LogosA Constitution for the InternetMilitary Recruitment and the MediaYour Privacy on Social MediaPandemic Policy Information in the MediaGendered Language in Media Coverage of Women in PoliticsEnvironmental Campaigns Using Social MediaTrusted Messengers, the Media, and the PandemicOnline Campaigning for Political OfficeAdvertising the Lottery Online and In PrintLocal Governments, Social Media and Digital Democracy7. Freedom of the Press and News/Media LiteracyPress Freedom in the United States and the WorldObjectivity and the News from All SidesInvestigative Journalism and Social ChangeNews Photographs & Newspaper DesignHow Reporters' Report EventsRecommendation Algorithms on Social Media PlatformsFake News Investigation and EvaluationCritical Visual Analysis of Online and Print MediaMemes and TikToks as Political Cartoons

1. Foundations of the United States Political System

How do you define democracy?

Is the United States a democratic country?

How have the events of 2020 and 2021 impacted your thinking and the thinking of students in schools about our country's political system?

Take a few moments to explore the winning videos from the 2021 "Democracy Challenge" Student Video Contest (sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Citizen Education Fund):

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-ajyf

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-GIk

The students' videos focus on the United States today. Viewing the development of our government and our democracy historically, it was the political systems of ancient Greece and Rome, revolutionary thinking about individual rights by Enlightenment philosophers, the struggles for power between nobles and kings in medieval England that led to the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights, and governmental practices of First American tribes in North America that contributed to the governmental philosophies and practices that emerged from the American Revolution.

The media literacy activities in this section explore modern-day social media policies and democratic principles, peoples’ right to Internet access and control, women as revolutionary technology innovators, media coverage of England’s royal family, and how Native Americans are portrayed in films and television.

You can read more about the definition of democracy and its place as a system of government in different countries in the world in the Introduction to this topic in our companion Building Democracy for All eBook.

Media Literacy Activities Choice Board

Screenshot of media literacy choice board for topic 1
Foundations of the U.S. Political System: Media Literacy Activities Choice Board (view)
(make your own copy of this choice board to remix/share/use)

Media Literacy Activities