Mr. Isaac's Social Studies Site

8th Grade Social Studies Elective: In the Eyes of Mass Media



Are Americans and the rest of the world unwitting pawns when it comes to media and advertising? How do the media cover events? Why is it that some facts are left unsaid? how are people influenced by TV? How does the quick pace of today's news lead to misunderstanding and rumors? What purpose does propaganda serve? Who benefits from it?



Using readings, commercials, movies, cartoons, and computers, the class will discuss these matters as well as media deception; political and big business lies; cover-ups and conspiracies. This course is not designed to teach students that the world is out to get them. Rather, it attempts to educate students about mass media and to teach critical thinking skills essential for living in the 21st century.


COURSE OF STUDY:

In Unit I, “The History of Mass Media and Media Technology,” students will examine the techniques and technologies used by people – from Ancient Rome to the “Mad Men” era – for entertaining, for spreading news, and for convincing the public to take action.


In Unit II, “Modern Mass Media,” we will examine the three most significant areas of mass media (political and news media, advertising media, and entertainment media) in greater detail. This will involve discussing current events issues, reading case studies, and engaging in both formal and informal classroom debates.


Finally, in Unit III, “The Evolution of Mass Media,” students will consider the wide variety of issues involved with emerging forms of mass media, including Twitter, YouTube, and WikiLeaks. These new outlets of expression will surely be instrumental in changing the way people will interact with information, and with each other, in the coming decades.






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