Hosting a Kindergarten Media Week in a Virtual Classroom

 In Blog, Diana Maliszewski, Elementary, Kindergarten, Lessons and Ideas
Media educators are everywhere, providing authentic experiences to their students in unique ways. This guest post, by author Jen Balido-Cadavez, shares the way that she involved her students in creating a “Media Week” experience. The official Media Literacy Week in Canada in 2021 runs from October 25 – 30; why not attempt integrating media into various subjects, whether you are teaching online or in-person?
My name is Jen Balido-Cadavez and I am a virtual DECE assigned to a virtual Kindergarten class for the 2020-21 school year. I decided to push my creativity in the virtual space and allow myself to explore a “media” week with my class.  The students were able to recite and even re-write the poem that Diana Maliszewski taught students at our bricks and mortar school.  I was impressed with their writing, their sharing of logos they recognized, and even their creativity to design their own logo using loose parts found at home.  I thought, “How can I create a media experience for students that is equitable, enjoyable and fun?”  I brainstormed this question with my class, and the discussion brought us to the idea of going to a theme-park.  Some students had visited a theme park like Canada’s Wonderland, whereas some were curious about the idea.  They were also quite fascinated with characters like Minnie and Mickey Mouse.
I then decided to create an unplugged coding activity where we could use our imagination to take a virtual trip to Disneyland.  The activity revealed modified “experiences” such as riding a roller coaster, watching fireworks and even lining up to see characters to take a picture with them.  It was cross-curricular, interesting, and so much fun watching the students engaged in this activity.
We also know in our media definition that “media has a message.”  I think that it was fitting that one student commented, “One day when COVID is done, I hope to ride a real roller coaster, I think it would be fun!”
Thanks to Jen and her online students for providing visuals of their Media Week learning artifacts. These images are provided with permission by the student creators.
  • Jennifer Balido-Cadavez

    Many thanks to the AML and Diana for sparking this idea of “media” week to introduce it to my virtual kindergarten class last year! I look forward to connecting and collaborating with like-minded educators on how we can continue this learning, especially our youngest learners!

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