CoverIntroductionKey Civics and Government ConceptsDefining Critical Media LiteracyTopic 1. Foundations of the United States Political System1.1 Social Media Policies and Community Standards on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and More1.2 The Internet as a Public Utility1.3  21st Century Women STEM Innovators1.4 Media Coverage of Kings, Queens, and Royal Families1.5 Representations of Native Americans in Films, Local History Publications, and School MascotsTopic 2. The Development of United States Government2.1 Declarations of Independence on Social Media2.2 Media Marketing and Government Regulation of Self-Driving Cars and Electric Vehicles2.3 Representations of and Racism Toward Black Americans in the Media2.4 Political Debates Through Songs from Hamilton: An American Musical2.5 Bill of Rights on TwitterTopic 3. Institutions of United States Government3.1: Hollywood Movies About the Branches of Government3.2: Writing an Impeachment Press Release3.3: Members of Congress' Use of Social Media3.4: Political Impacts of Public Opinion Polls3.5: Website Design for New Political PartiesTopic 4. The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens4.1: Immigration in the News4.2: Portrayals of Immigrants in Television and Film4.3: COVID-19 Information Evaluation4.4: Women Political Leaders in the Media4.5: Online Messaging by Special Interest Groups4.6: Digital Games for Civic Engagement4.7: Social Media and the Elections4.8: Images of Political Leaders and Political Power4.9: Media Spin in the Coverage of Political Debates4.10: Celebrities' Influence on Politics4.11: Political Activism Through Social Media4.12: Media Recruitment of Public Sector Workers4.13 Deciding What Books Students Read in School4.14: Images of Teachers and Teaching4.15: For Whom Is and Could Your School Be Named4.16: Representing Trans Identities4.17: Media Framing of the Events of January 6, 20214.18: Music as Protest Art4.19: PACs, Super PACs, and Unions in the Media4.20 Brands and PoliticsTopic 5. The Constitution, Amendments, and Supreme Court Decisions5.1: Prohibition in the Media5.2: The Equal Rights Amendment on Twitter and Other Social Media5.3: Civil War Era News Stories and Recruitment Advertisements5.4: Representations of Gender and Race on U.S. Currency5.5: The Equality Act on Twitter5.6: Reading Supreme Court Dissents Aloud5.7: Television Cameras in CourtroomsTopic 6. The Structure of State and Local Government6.1: Native American Mascots and Logos6.2: A Constitution for the Internet6.3: Military Recruitment and the Media6.4: Your Privacy on Social Media6.5: Pandemic Policy Information in the Media6.6: Gendered Language in Media Coverage of Women in Politics6.7: Gender-Neutral Marketing of Toys 6.8: Environmental Campaigns Using Social Media6.9: Trusted Messengers, the Media, and the Pandemic6.10: Online Campaigning for Political Office6.11: Advertising the Lottery Online and In Print6.12: Local Governments, Social Media and Digital Democracy6.13: Protecting the CommonsTopic 7. Freedom of the Press and News/Media Literacy7.1: Press Freedom in the United States and the World7.2: Objectivity and Reporting the News from All Sides7.3: Investigative Journalism and Social Change7.4: News Photographs & Newspaper Design7.5: How Reporters Report Events7.6: Recommendation Algorithms on Social Media Platforms7.7: YouTube Content Creators7.8: Fake News Investigation and Evaluation7.9: Paywalls and Access to Online News7.10: Critical Visual Analysis of Online and Print Media7.11: Memes and TikToks as Political Cartoons7.12: Women Reporters in the Movies7.13: Design a 21st Century Indie Bookstore 7.14: Greenwashing and the Media

6.1: Native American Mascots and Logos

In 1933, the Washington Braves NFL football team changed their name to the Washington Redskins. In 2020, facing increasing public pressure over its racially-themed mascot and logo, the team is planning to change their name again and drop the use of "redskins." As a placeholder, they are called the Washington Football team.

What do you think their new team name should be?

How can their new name/image rectify their previous culturally insensitive history?

Does it matter that other professional sports teams have similar names (Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves) and high schools across the country still use Native American symbols and images?

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

The Washington football team name is controlled by a private business. The issue of racially insensitive names for state and local governments remains a matter of open policy debate. By the end of 2020 and despite a number of name changes in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement, 26 communities in Massachusetts, the most in New England, still have a Native American mascot at their school.

A bill to prohibit the use of Native American Mascots in public schools has been introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. Multiple states have laws or resolutions prohibiting or limiting Native American mascots in public schools: Maine, Oregon, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, New York, New Hampshire, and Michigan (MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda).

There are efforts in other places to address how the names of places reflect the realities of local and state histories. In Minnesota, students, teachers, families, and community members led an effort to change the name of Alexander Ramsey Middle School (Ramsey was a territorial governor in the mid-19th century who forced Native Americans from their homelands) to Alan Page Middle School (Page is the first African American Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and was a Hall of Fame football player for the Minnesota Vikings).

What steps do you think state and local governments might take to combat racial/cultural stereotypes and promote fully inclusive histories of indigenous peoples?

How might schools, streets, walkways, parks and other public places be named or renamed to honor those who accomplishments and achievements may be unrecognized or forgotten?

Activity 1: Analyze Native American Mascots and Logos

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

Analysis of The Tewksbury Redmen Logo and Mascot by Emma Stankiewicz

Activity 2: Propose a New Logo Honoring Native Peoples' Influence on U.S. Government

Sinagua High School JROTC Insignia

Before it was closed in 2010, Sinagua High School in Flagstaff, Arizona were known as the Mustangs. The shoulder sleeve insignia for the school's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) featured a mustang in the center with a row of mountains in the background symbolizing the San Francisco Peaks - one of the state's highest landmarks and sacred ground to local indigenous people. In this way, the logo honored Native people along with the school's nickname.

SINAGUA_Seal
"Flagstaff Sinagua HSJROTCSSI" | Public Domain

Designing for Learning: Student-Created Activity Example

New Logo Proposal for Massachusetts Joint Committee On Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture by Emma Stankiewicz

Additional Resources

Connecting to the Standards

  • Massachusetts Civics & Government Standards
    • Compare and contrast the functions of state government and national government. (Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Studies) [8.T6.1]
  • ISTE Standards
    • Knowledge Constructor
      • 3a: Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
      • 3d: Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
    • Creative Communicator
      • 6a: Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
      • 6b: Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
      • 6d: Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for the intended audiences.
  • DLCS Standards
    • Collaboration and Communication (DTC.b)
    • Research (DTC.c)
  • English Language Arts > History/Social Studies Common Core Standards
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7