Rescue Writing

Teaching Media Literacy – Studying Junk Mail

By investigating junk mail, students learn to think about and question texts in ways that develop their analytical capacities and critical reading practices. Students work in small groups to investigate and sort junk mail into categories of their choice using a Venn diagram. They discuss the purpose of junk mail and compose a class definition. They then find examples of junk mail at home and share them in small groups, explaining why they think the mail is junk mail. As a class, students discuss any mail that their group disagreed about and explore how mail could be considered useful or junk, depending on the audience. Finally, students select a piece of junk mail and rewrite it to be more honest, more effective, dramatic, or humorous.

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