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Our Grade 7s Get Media Savvy

With the amount of time teens (and almost-teens) spend online, they need to be aware of what’s out there. This year, SCS introduced a Grade 7 Media Literacy course to help students become better versed in all sorts of media, and the online space.

The course introduced different types of media to the students, including print sources such as magazines, newspapers, and photographs; moving images like film, animation, music videos, and television programming; as well as social media and the complex issues and ethics that surrounds its use. To enhance the curriculum, a number of guest experts visited the class. Laura Pearce from Blue Ant Media, who specializes in brand messaging and delivery across all platforms in her role, provided the girls with insight into the mind of a marketing executive. She taught them how marketers target specific audiences and track online habits, and revealed clever and evolving ways marketers look to reach consumers. As well, Amanda Cohen and Hannah Gill from Suneeva, an award-winning Canadian production company, came to speak to the class about the art of making commercials. The girls were taken through the process of pitching an idea to a client, and were able to view storyboards and the resulting commercials for companies such as Cadbury, Old Spice, and McDonald’s.

Through the course, the Grade 7 class also had the opportunity to view the documentary film “Audrie & Daisy” as part of The Hot Docs Festival for Schools. “This film is about two girls who were victims of sexual assault and cyber bullying, events which changed their lives forever,” recounts Claire Pacaud, who teaches the Media Literacy course. “Daisy herself attended the student screening, turning the event into an even more powerful learning opportunity for our girls.” To further expand upon the subject of cyber bullying, SCS welcomed Detective Constable Rebecca Sisk from the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Police Service on May 11. Sisk’s presentation to the girls sparked important discussions about online safety, digital footprints, and cyber bullying.

“The Media Literacy course has helped equip our Grade 7s with the critical thinking skills needed to navigate the often complicated realities of media in the 21st century,” concludes Claire.

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