Media Explorations Looks at the National Elections

Hilliard City Schools

Students working on computersElection season provides teachers the opportunities to teach their students about history, civics, oration, and propaganda. To help media explorations students at Weaver Middle School learn a bit more about how candidates and issues are portrayed in the media, we all met Mr. George Ploshington, our newest candidate for president.

Students were provided a common “fact sheet” about Mr. Ploshington’s experience, political/voting history, and stances/quotes about important issues (all of which were fabricated for the purpose of this experience), a common set of photos and silent videos of Mr. Ploshington (who bares an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Craig Vroom), and the instruction that they were either to make a commercial promoting this new candidate or warning voters against voting for him. The only variables to create the desired mood for their audience, their musical selections and the iMovie options such as filters and other effects. And the result? Students see how a common message can be spun either positively or negatively, based on the creator’s purpose. Not only are students learning how it’s done, they’re also learning how to be smarter consumers of the messages they see and hear.