In my literacy methods courses, we're making a list of the kinds of popular media that come to school via children's backpacks, lunchbags, jackets, and shoes...and sometimes as toys and action figures tucked away in pockets. We also don't want to overlook the popular media that children bring in through their play and writing as they create stories around their favorite themes, games, and characters.
Discover particular children’s expertise so that you can build bridges to curricular activities and also help access their expertise to join play groups with ideas for character roles or storylines. Often children are experts on a wide variety of media characters that adults may not know. To find your media experts, ask sincere questions about children’s transmedia items such as, “What does that character do? Is that from a TV show or a movie? What channel is it on?”
Make a list of popular media and lead characters that children know and love. Simply knowing what children are interested in will open up an entire realm of critical, emergent, play-based learning possibilities for you.
(Excerpt from Literacy Playshop, p. 57)
- In the first column, find a franchise that your students play and then add 1 to the number in the grade level column to represent your classroom.
- Please add any missing media franchises to the list and mark the grade level column that you teach with a 1.
For more information on playwatching and popular media audits:
Wohlwend, K. E., Buchholz, B. A., Wessel-Powell, C., Coggin, L. S., & Husbye, N. E. (2013). Literacy playshop: New literacies, popular media, and play in the early childhood classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.