This lesson series contains discussion topics and extension activities for teachers to integrate the TVOKids Original series Wacky Media Songs. This lesson focuses on students’ ability to influence positive social norms in online spaces and to speak out as active, engaged citizens.

As your kids grow older, their gift requests may start to look a lot different than when they were younger. While they once circled all the toys in the holiday catalogues that arrived at the door, now they are sending parents text messages or Google Docs with links to their wish list items.

The holidays are a perfect time to cozy up as a family and watch festive movies and TV shows together. It’s also a time when kids are on the receiving end of a lot of marketing, and some kids will be given new tech devices as gifts.  

We've compiled some of our best resources for managing tech at home during the holidays, from setting rules around digital devices, to teaching kids about consumerism, to engaging with your kids on the content you’re watching together.  

Lynn JataniaRecently our youngest, who is 14, decided she wanted to watch Keeping Up with The Kardashians. 

 

 

 

 

Matthew JohnsonParents could be forgiven for thinking that our children are born media literate. They are mediatized, certainly, even before they are born: it’s a rare baby shower that doesn’t feature Elsa or Elmo in one form or another. As for digital literacy, kids take to devices like the proverbial ducks to water, quickly becoming expert at finding the videos and games they want.

Even though you're competing against peer pressure and million-dollar marketing campaigns, research has shown that kids are less likely to get involved in smoking or vaping if they've discussed them with their parents. Talking to our kids about tobacco and cannabis advertising will help them to recognize when they're being advertised to and identify the tricks companies use to normalize teen smoking and vaping, and make their products seem safer and less addictive than they really are.

Here are some tips on talking to kids about vaping, tobacco and cannabis advertising.

Talk Back! How to Take Action on Media Issues gives you the tools to talk back to media companies.

On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.

If you haven’t seen the story of the Hot Dog Princess that has been making the rounds of the Internet, I suggest you read this Buzzfeed article. To summarize: it was “Princess Week” at five-year-old Ainsley’s dance class and she decided to wear a hot dog costume. As a parent, this is the kind of youthful impertinence I can get behind. After all, THIS was a princess who really knew who she was, a princess that was not like other princesses, a #hotdogprincess.

In this lesson, students learn to question media representations of gender, relationships and sexuality. After a brief “myth busting” quiz about relationships in the media and a reminder of the constructed nature of media products, the teacher leads the class in an analysis of the messages about gender, sex and relationships communicated by beer and alcohol ads. Students analyze the messages communicated by their favourite media types and then contrast it with their own experience.