Personal tools
You are here: Home XChange Critical Uses of Media & Technology Student Commons Reading the World Through Film: Literacy Strategies in the History Classroom
XChange - Publications and Resources for Public School Professionals

Access to the content included in the UCLA Center XChange varies with copyright restrictions, as outlined in the Editorial Policies, but Center X strives to provide open and free access whenever possible.

Reading the World Through Film: Literacy Strategies in the History Classroom

Author(s): Erin Deis


Research shows that many students see history as a series of unrelated dates, names and facts to be memorized and accepted.  During her first year of teaching middle school, Erin Deis observed that students from marginalized groups, especially those from recent immigrant families, found the study of American history especially alienating, as they did not see themselves as “American”. Using socio-cultural theory, Deis focuses on the use of critical media literacy lessons and historically themed films as a means through which to engage students and encourage critical thinking. In this inquiry, Deis explains the findings from a qualitative study that investigated the use of media literacy and peer discussion groups in an eighth grade history classroom to explore the issues of bias inherent in historically themed films and history in general. Students were engaged in the process, while they practiced important critical thinking skills. These findings suggest that English learners and struggling readers can be supported academically in the history classroom by incorporating the critical viewing of historically themed films and meaningful small-group discussions. Teachers can also encourage critical thinking in history and other content areas, and media representations in everyday life, through the incorporation of critical media literacy lessons and strategies.

032ReadingWorldFilmIP012.pdf — PDF document, 203Kb

Items in Student Commons

Document Actions

UCLA Center X
1320 Moore Hall, Box 951521
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521
(310) 825-4910