MEDIA LITERACY 101: IV. All Media Messages are Constructions


Subject: Digital Literacy
Grade Level: All
Source: Cable in the Classroom

Web pages, video games, newspapers, TV commercials, movies, and other media are all carefully put together, or "constructed," to achieve a specific result. Media makers have a variety of "construction tools" they can use to build a movie, magazine, or multimedia Web page. Each of these tools can be used to elicit a particular reaction from the audience: to make you laugh or cry, to capture your attention, to make you think, to scare you or excite you, to tempt you to buy something, or vote for someone. For motion media like television and movies, these tools include the script, actors, sets, lighting, music, camera angles, editing, and special effects.

Online

On Web sites, construction tools can include words and pictures, where things are placed on the page, the size and color of elements on the page or the page itself, movement, sound, and interactivity. Like the front page of a newspaper, a Web site uses these elements to grab your attention and draw you in. See if you can find five things each of these Web sites does to engage users:

 

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