Media Literacy

Become an Info Investigator

The music, TV and other media we consume influence how we see the world. To be informed consumers, kids need to develop media literacy skills. These skills include observation, research, and critical thinking. Libraries are great places to find reliable sources of information and learn to use them. The Library is excited to launch an online quiz in collaboration with Media Smarts. Kids in Grades 4 - 6 can test their media literacy skills with this fun learning game.

Take the quiz

Media Literacy for Parents, Educators, and Caregivers

Why is media literacy important?

Media literacy is a crucial skillset for youth today. Developing these skills allows them to properly evaluate and interpret the information they encounter from rapidly expanding variety of sources, especially on the internet.  

We recognize that an essential skill for kids today is the ability to access and use media on a basic level, while also analyzing and evaluating that media critically. We support students’ online research for both school assignments and personal interest by providing informed, trusted sources and expertise. We support Calgary-area kids in media literacy skills, such as lateral reading and verifying sources, through outreach at their schools and through Library programs. We want to help kids learn how to consume, share, and produce media thoughtfully and responsibly.

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Media Literacy Resources


Calgary Public Library's Digital Library

The Library offers a variety of resources students can access to obtain trustworthy and credible information, written by experts. Use our Digital Library for schoolwork and research projects — free with your Library card!  

No Library card? Sign up for FREE.  


These resources are all available as part of Calgary Public Library's Digital Library:

Canadian Encyclopedia  
Collection of Canadian history and culture.  

Early Canadiana Online
Books, government documents, and periodicals on Canadian History.  

Gale Virtual Reference Library eBooks Online
Full text e-books for learners of all ages. 

Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada  
Indigenous perspectives shared through maps, artwork, history, and culture.  

National Geographic Kids 
Videos, pictures, and books on a variety of topics for kids.

World Book Online for Kids 
Children can explore topics on animals, people, and much more. 

Alberta Research Portal 
Collection of historical sources on topics such as Indigenous Peoples, the Smithsonian Collection Online, and Archives of Human Sexuality and G

Here are some more of our top educational eResources for students:

Media Literacy in Alberta Curriculum  
A curriculum for Alberta students developed to encourage the study and creation of a wide variety of text types and forms, including oral, print, visual and multimedia formats. 

Media Smarts 
Canadian non-profit organization developing digital and media literacy resources for Canadian families, students and educators, and communities. Other resources available from Media Smarts include media literacy fundamentals, tip sheets on digital citizenship and authenticating informationand so much more! 

Common Sense Media  
Common Sense is the leading non-profit organization in America dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing trustworthy information, education, and an independent voice. Other resources available from Common Sense include an award-winning digital citizenship curriculum and key questions to ask when teaching kids about Media Literacy.  

Checkology is a news and media literacy learning platform created by the News Literacy Project. Its aim is to help students critically navigate the ever-changing media and digital landscape. An account is required to access info from Checkologyand some information is not included in the free subscription. 

Snopes is a fact-checking website reference source for validating and debunking urban legends, myth, rumours, and misinformation.  

Tin Eye 
Tin Eye is a reverse image search engine to help users determine the original source of an image. 

Alberta Association for Media Awareness 
A website dedicated to helping those living in the Alberta area better understand the positive and negative effects of media in their lives. 

Google Earth 
Google Earth is a computer program that renders 3D representations of Earth based on satellite imagery. This tool can help users fact check the location of online information.

Google's Be Internet Awesome
Curriculums that teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online word with confidence.

Key questions to ask when teaching kids media literacy:

Who created this?

Was it a company? Was it an individual? (If so, who?) Was it a comedian? Was it an artist? Was it an anonymous source? Why do you think that?

Why did they make it?

Was it to inform you of something that happened in the world (for example, a news story)? Was it to change your mind or behaviour (an opinion essay or a how-to)? Was it to make you laugh (a funny meme)? Was it to get you to buy something (an ad)? Why do you think that?

Who is the message for?

Is it for kids? Grown-ups? Girls? Boys? People who share a particular interest? Why do you think that?

What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable?

Does it have statistics from a reputable source? Does it contain quotes from an expert? Does it have an authoritative-sounding voice-over? Is there direct evidence of the claims it’s making? Why do you think that?

What details were left out, and why?

Is the information balanced with different views — or does it present only one side? Do you need more information to fully understand the message? Why do you think that?

How did the message make you feel?

Do you think others might feel the same way? Would everyone feel the same, or would certain people disagree with you? Why do you think that?

Media Literacy Glossary

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Lateral Reading – verifying information as you read it. This can be done by leaving the website and looking at other sites to make sure the original source is reliable and authentic. 

Critical observation – using critical thinking to look more carefully at images and think about where those images were taken. 

Reverse Image Search – digital investigative technique used to find the original source of photographs. 

Geolocation – verifying the location of online information. 

Misinformation  information that is inadvertently incorrect and not intended to mislead people. 

Disinformation – information and the distribution of information that is deliberately incorrect or deceptive with the intention of spreading a false message. 

Propaganda – information with an agenda. Its intention is to persuade and will often contain an unnecessary positive spin. 

Fake News – a term used to refer to information that is intentionally false. This term has been politicized to refer to information that one does not agree with, regardless of the validity of the information. 

Fact checking – the process of verifying information to determine the correctness.