Tips and resources for news literacy, media balance, and healthy communication

As the coronavirus pandemic moves into its second year, many students, teachers, and families face uncertainty about when, or how, their international journal schools will make the transition to hybrid or, eventually, fully in-person learning. The dynamic nature of the pandemic — not to mention everything from vaccine misinformation to highly politicized debates around school reopenings — can make for a lot of confusion for everyone, especially kids. As many of us prepare for some form of transition back into the classroom, it’s easy for students to find themselves confused or worried as they try to make sense of what’s happening.

To help reduce students’ anxiety and your own about pandemic-related changes in school, we’ve put together some ideas and resources focused on news literacy, media balance, and healthy communication. We hope they’re helpful as you continue to navigate these challenging times.

Talk about it
Avoiding conversations about what’s happening will only increase students’ anxiety. It’s important for kids of all ages to talk through what they’re hearing and get developmentally appropriate information from a trusted adult. Helpful resources to try:

Explaining the News to Our Kids
How to Talk to Kids About Difficult Subjects
Focus on the facts
For many students, anxiety about the pandemic can be exacerbated by incomplete or incorrect information. Whether it’s about COVID safety, the vaccine, or your school or district’s plan for reopening, help students talk through the facts about it in an age-appropriate way. For older students, you can share the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information. Helpful resources to try:

Most Reliable and Credible Sources for Students
News Literacy Resources for Classrooms
Build critical-thinking and news literacy skills
Social media can be a hotbed of rumors and misinformation — even more so as people are acting and reacting from a place of fear or partisan interest. Guide students to credible news sources and encourage them to fact-check what they see on social media or hear from their friends. If you have time to add some news literacy instruction, consider teaching a lesson so kids can practice these skills. For older students, in addition to our digital citizenship lessons, we have a collection of short, video- and discussion-based news and media literacy activities. From our curriculum, here are some helpful lessons to try (modify for target grade as needed):

Is Seeing Believing? (grade 3)
Reading News Online (grade 5)
Finding Credible News (grade 6)
This Just In! (grade 8)
Hoaxes and Fakes (grade 9)
Challenging Confirmation Bias (grade 10)
Clicks for Cash (grade 11)
Filter Bubble Trouble (grade 12)

Author: th3d34dm0v13

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