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Lesson: Media Literacy--The Trail of Tears


Author: Model Lesson
Subject Area: Social Studies
Grade Level: 6 - 8

Introduction

In this Media Literacy lesson, you will investigate how the same event can be represented in different ways to communicate different messages.

Goals

You will be able to use Media Literacy skills to evaluate multimedia documents.

Directions

Open both activities, "Painting, 'The Trail of Tears'" and "Map, 'The Trail of Tears'" and follow the directions for each site. After you have evaluated both documents, use the SUMMARY strategy to compare how each uses media to convey a different message about this event.


Background Builder Background

Title: What's in a painting URL:
Directions: Artists don't paint a scene exactly as it is. They use light, color and perspective to shape how you will see and feel about a scene. As you look at a painting, consider: • What are your eyes immediately drawn to? • What seems to be most important? • If there are people, what detail can you describe about them? • Then ask yourself, what did the artist want you to focus on? • How did he or she want you to feel? • What things were meant to be important? Why?


Title: The Changing American Landscape URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/features/immig/native_american.html
Directions: Click on these interactive maps to see how the American landscape was occupied before Europeans arrived in North America.


Title: What was the 'Trail of Tears'? URL: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html
Directions: Look at this site for a brief description of the 'Trail of Tears' and its impact on Native American cultures.



Vocabulary Builder Vocabulary


Message:
Vocabulary Words:


Activity: Painting, 'The Trail of Tears'


URL URL 


Goals

You will be able to use Media Literacy skills to uncover messages in a painting.

Directions

What does this painting tell you about the Trail of Tears? What does it want you to understand about this event? Look carefully at color, shape and the use of light and dark across the canvas. Using the MEDIA LITERACY strategy, consider: How does the artist want the audience to feel about the removal of the Cherokee people? About the future of the Cherokees?



Activity: Map, 'The Trail of Tears'


URL URL 


Goals

You will be able to use Media Literacy skills to understand the messages communicated by this map and be able to compare this information with that communicated by the 'Trail of Tears' painting.

Directions

What does this map tell you about the 'Trail of Tears'? What does it want you to understand about this event? Does it try to make you feel or react to the event in a particular way? Use the MEDIA LITERACY strategy to evaluate how media is used (particularly color and design) to try to communicate this message. Use the SUMMARIZE strategy and discuss the similarities and differences in how the painting and the map of 'The Trail of Tears' use media. How does their use of media shape their messages?




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