Mark Day School
39 Trellis Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

Media and Information Literacy

The ability to analyze, understand, and shape the information landscape, to read between and behind the lines, and to act responsibly as an online citizen are now indispensible skills. Mark Day School has been leading education in media and information literacy for more than 10 years: Our program develops the habits of mind students need to thoughtfully interact with the information they encounter, but also inspires them and gives them the tools to use their own voice and creativity to express themselves in video, audio, and the written word. They learn how to think critically about all types of information and how to participate constructively in online life.

Media fluency is developed over a student's time here, beginning in the Lower School, with integrated lessons about, for example, cereal advertising and reading nutrition labels. Gradually, students begin using iPads in the classroom for a variety of applications--Skyping with guest readers from afar, using Google Earth to find mystery locations, math enrichment, and more.

Middle Division students ask increasingly sophisticated questions in the area of media and information literacy; sometimes those questions lead to interesting results. 5th graders analyze media imagery as they compare the civil rights movement in the United States with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. 6th graders during their study of astronomy encounter the proposition that the United States falsified the moon landing and analyze imagery, text and video to unpack the truth. 

As they enter the Upper Division, students are becoming critical thinkers and they now have many tools at their disposal and many opportunities to express themselves across different media. Teachers incorporate media text analysis, video production, and analytical skills honed in previous years as students decode, analyze and produce their own media messages.

Featured Project: 8th Grade Media Literacy Week

The entire 8th grade participates in Media Literacy Week in the spring. Each student chooses a topic and looks at how that topic is represented in the media, in the process creating a video, print, or audio project to express their own educated opinion.

Featured Project: 7th Grade Bizjack Project

In the spring, 7th graders engage in a multifaceted project that combines media literacy, SEL and community engagement. Students develop a reciprocal relationship with a local area senior and interview their partner about a significant, historical event that influenced their partner's life. Using oral history interview protocols, students capture their partner's stories on video and produce a high-quality oral history interview to share with their senior partners and their extended families.

Students will independently use their learning to:

  • Employ print and digital media and digital tools to find, comprehend, use, and apply information.
  • Evaluate media "texts" for quality, purpose, meaning, credibility, and constructedness.
  • Compose, create, or perform media "texts" in a variety of forms for a variety of audiences.
  • Act responsibly and ethically online and make healthy and balanced choices for living in the digital age.
  • Recognize how media and media systems (both economic and political) influence and relate to personal identity and community and global issues.
  • Use media and the power of voice to inspire individual, community, or global action.