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Lesson Plan

Students as Creators: Exploring Multimedia

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Students as Creators: Exploring Multimedia

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Ten 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Cassandra Love

Asheville, North Carolina


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson introduces students to the genre of multimedia presentations. Working first as a class and then in small groups, students view and analyze sample multimedia presentations and develop a list of characteristics of the genre. Students then brainstorm programs and tools they could use to make their own multimedia presentations and review applicable copyright law. Finally, they plan, storyboard, and create their own multimedia presentations. The lesson stresses the importance of using media in compliance with copyright protection and provides information about various multimedia formats. The topic and format of the presentations are left open-ended so teachers can tailor the project to the topics they are studying and/or the equipment they have available.

This lesson plan was developed as part of a collaborative professional project with the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

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Multimedia Project Planning Sheet: Students can use this sheet to plan the topic, purpose, tools, and format for any multimedia project.

Image and Sound Organizer: This printout guides students in identifying multimedia components needed for any project and tracking the location and copyright status of possible resources.

Multimedia Tools and Tutorials: This handout lists online tutorials for several types of multimedia.

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Depending on how they are used, multimedia projects can provide a motivation for learning or an alternative to traditional assessment that can be very meaningful and engaging to today's media-savvy students. These projects can encourage teamwork and cooperation and offer an outlet for student creativity, while also arming students to critically engage with multimodal texts in authentic situations. In order to be most effective, multimedia projects must be presented to students in a way that not only engages their interest in technology but also enhances their critical understanding and fluency with the multimedia genre and the many modes of text that can be incorporated. NCTE's Statement on Multimodal Literacies suggests that "From an early age, students are very sophisticated readers and producers of multimodal work. They can be helped to understand how these works make meaning, how they are based on conventions, and how they are created for and respond to specific communities or audiences." This lesson therefore engages students in thinking critically about multimedia not only through the analysis of online examples but also by challenging them to choose appropriate formats and modes of text to craft a presentation that suits their own purpose and audience.

Further Reading

NCTE's Statement on Multimodal Literacies. Adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, November 2005. Web http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/multimodalliteracies.

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NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008. Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. Online:http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/fairusemedialiteracy.


Hobbs, Renee. "Best Practices Help End Copyright Confusion". The Council Chronicle 18.3 (March 2009): 12-27.

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