Mini Media Literacy Library

For your convenience, we've assembled a library of our Media Moment Mini-Lessons. These mini-lessons combine civic content and news literacy skills. Designed for the high school classroom, each mini-lesson includes a content reading, a news literacy highlight, and a one-page news literacy activity. Use the readings together or separately to target multiple learning objectives throughout the year! Each lesson can also be found in the units below.

In our "Executive Branch" unit:

In our "Legislative Branch" unit:

In our "Judicial Branch" unit:

*For more news literacy lessons, see our full "News Literacy (HS)" unit.


Mini-lesson: Veto Power (HS)

Explore the presidential veto and pocket veto powers, their role as a negotiating tool, and the Congressional veto override process. Students also learn how to use fact-checking and triangulation to evaluate news claims and detect misinformation. 

Mini-lesson: The Incumbent Advantage (HS)

Learn about the electoral advantage that favors incumbents and the benefits and drawbacks of reelecting members of Congress. Then, put students' news literacy skills to work as they learn what distinguishes an opinion piece, op-ed, or commentary from traditional news.

Mini-lesson: Congressional Committees (HS)

Discover the different types of congressional committees and their responsibilities. What's more, teach students about bias and balanced reporting. In the closing activity, students put their news literacy skills to work by evaluating an article of choice for the inclusion of varied and balanced perspectives.  

Mini-lesson: Executive Orders (HS)

Discover how presidents use executive orders to wield power and how the legislative and judicial branches support and challenge these measures. Then take a look at what fair and balanced reporting on an executive order might look like and practice evaluating perspectives in online news articles of choice.

Mini-lesson: Judicial Activism & Restraint (HS)

Learn about the judicial philosophies of activism and restraint. In the second half of the lesson, students learn about opinion journalsim and explore criteria through which they can evaluate news-related opinion pieces.

Mini-lesson: Pardon Power (HS)

Teach students about presidential pardons, commutations, and the limitations on these powers. What's more, students learn about fact-checking websites and how to conduct an independent web search to verify a claim. 

Mini-lesson: Gerrymandering (HS)

Students try their hand at a simplified districting exercise and learn about the common gerrymandering practices of packing and cracking districts. Students then explore the media’s traditional roles as gatekeeper, agenda setter, and watchdog in a news literacy-related activity!

Mini-lesson: Filibusters (HS)

First, teach students about filibusters and how and why senators use them. Next, help students develop their news literacy skills by taking a look at how news coverage of a filibuster can be transformed through neutral, positive, or negative framing.

Mini-lesson: Succession (HS)

Review the official presidential line of succession and read about its origins. Students also learn how to detect satire in a news literacy-related activity. 

Mini-lesson: Supreme Court Opinions (HS)

Opinions, opinions, opinions! Learn about the types of Supreme Court opinions and the influence of legal precedent. In the accompanying news literacy-related activity, students are introduced to traditional authors of opinion pieces and learn what to consider when evaluating an author’s credibility. 

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