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Close Reading of Media Texts


Media educator Frank W. Baker conducts workshops for educators (and students) around close reading of media texts. For more information about his workshops, go here.  Contact him for specifics.

Frank’s latest book “Close Reading The Media” published by Routledge is a collaboration with MiddleWeb.

Return to the Media Literacy Clearinghouse for additional resources and ideas.

It’s been my experience that most educators understand how to teach “close reading ” as it applies to print, but many have not had the same training nor experience when it comes to teaching “media texts.”  That’s why I created this web resource. It is designed to provide guidance, suggestions and resources for helping you to teach students how to analyze the techniques used by media makers, so that their experience with media is a richer, more rewarding one. In many ways, when we do this, we are turning them away from being passive viewers, and turning them toward becoming more active (critical) viewers.

“When close reading a media text, you deconstruct (take part) the text by analyzing the way different elements are used to create meaning. In order to close read a text, it is necessary to understand the particular media language used. Media language encompasses all the ways in which media text is constructed to communicate with an audience through verbal, visual, aural language  ( e.g. lighting, layout, shots, typography, images, sound).” (Source)


Close Reading and What It Means for Media Literacy (1 of 4)  Close Reading: Visual Literacy Through Photography (2 of 4)
Close Reading Of Ads Promotes Critical Thinking (3 of 4)        Close Reading: The Language of Film (4 of 4)
Close Reading Infographics                                                  Teaching Visual & Media Literacy With Popular Magazines
Close Reading of News, Ads & Websites

New Literacies & The Common Core – By William Kist       Media Literacy & Close Reading (Literacy Solutions)
Close Reading With Media                                               How to Conduct A Close Analysis of A Media Text (CML)
Close Reading/Media Studies (New Zealand)                    Codes & Conventions Defined



Compare & Contrast Magazine Covers
How To Read A Magazine

Engaging Students With Primary Sources 

Basic Strategies in Reading Photographs

Close Reading A Photograph

Is Seeing Believing? (digital manipulation of images)

Close Reading + Visual Literacy= Pathways to Understanding

Close Reading Photos (Lesson Plan)

10 Intriguing Photos to Teach Close Reading



Analyzing Tobacco Ads

Print Ad Deconstruction

Close Reading Non-Print:
Understanding the Appeals

Buy Me That: Toy Commercials

Deconstructing A TV Commercial

Close reading of ads: a how to guide

Close reading visual texts (video)

Media Literacy & Rhetorical Analysis With Ads (Lessons)



Close Reading: Film Trailers

To Kill A Mockingbird (film study guide)

Close Reading Film (prezi)

How To Read A Movie (Roger Ebert)

8 Compelling Docs to Teach Close Reading/Critical Thinking (NYT)

Handout: How to Read A Film

Analyzing Scenes in Film & Literature (NYT)

Techniques Filmmakers Use

Using Storyboards to Inspire Close Reading

Lesson Plan: Documentaries


Evaluating a news article (Infographic, EasyBib)
Five Simple Tips for Evaluating News Sources
Fake News-Remedy Recommendations

Social Media
Social Media Guide For Teachers (Edutopia)
How Facebook works
What is Twitter/how does it work?
What is Instagram?
Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide
TikTok: How It Works
What is Reddit?

Close Reading One Direction’s Music Video
Close Reading of Pop Music

Other Resources/Lesson Plans
Reading Media Texts
Organizer for Close Reading of Multimedia Texts
Elements of Multimedia Composition Descriptors
Close Reading Lesson Plans (Web English Teacher)





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