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Lesson Plan

Exploring Literacy in Cyberspace

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Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 40-minute class sessions
Lesson Author

Valorie A. Stokes

St. Joseph, Missouri


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Whether they realize it or not, students are already immersed in a world of multiple literacies. This lesson invites students to become aware of the analytical skills that they commonly use when reading. The class first generates and categorizes a list of strategies and thought processes that can help to make sense of a print text, such as connecting thinking, visualizing, noticing text features, etc. They create symbols to represent each type of strategy, and work in pairs to identify strategies used in reading newspaper articles. This think-aloud activity is repeated with informational websites, as students transfer these skills, along with some other strategies, to navigating and reading online texts. Students then compare and contrast their reading of print and online texts, sharing what they have discovered about the thought processes and skills they used.

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Pailliotet, A.W., Semali, L., Rodenberg, R.K., Giles, J.K., & Macaul, S.L. (2000). Intermediality: Bridge to critical media literacy. The Reading Teacher, 54, 208–219.

  • Broadly defined, intermediality is the ability to "critically read and write with and across varied symbol systems."

  • Students are part of the youth media culture-like it or not-and are already literate communicators who spend more time engaging with mass media outside classrooms than they spend in schools.

  • Just as we teach students to be aware of author purpose and text structure in reading, we must also help them identify such organizational structures in viewing and representing ideas through popular and electronic media.

  • If educators fail to acknowledge the meaning-making capabilities of extracurricular media messages and information, any attempts to increase literacy learning will be rendered incomplete.


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