Middle School (Gr. 5-8) » Media Studies

Media Studies

Juli Vitello
Prior to beginning her life as a Green Woods teacher, Juli Vitello pretty much spent her life in and around media. An honors graduate of Albright College with a degree in English Literature, Juli began her career in radio, spent a decade in public relations for a concert promoter, wrote radio copy, and won two Emmy awards for her work in daytime television. Then came ten years producing “Home Matters” for Discovery Channel. Now that is a passion for mass communication!

The Media Studies course is designed to build students’ critical thinking skills in all media ranging from print to social media. Students learn to “read” films, recognize bias, deconstruct advertising and create their own films and newscasts.

A longtime resident of Lafayette Hill, Juli earned her Masters’ Degree in Education with a middle school certification from Chestnut Hill College in 1999. She remains passionate about her family, her dog, folk music and (of course) the movies.

Media Studies/Social Studies 7th-8th Grades

Media literacy is the ability to “read,” process and evaluate the millions of messages we receive daily through sources ranging from print to the Internet. For the 21st century student to succeed he or she must be able to deconstruct and understand words, images and sounds across all subject areas.

Beginning in the 2014 school year, longtime Green Woods reading/writing instructor Juli Vitello launched a new area of study called Media Studies. The course focuses on analyzing, evaluating and even creating media of all kinds.

By its very nature, Media Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration, dovetailing perfectly with the Green Woods EIC curriculum by incorporating Social Studies and the social science of Environment and Ecology. Students in grades 7-8 hone critical thinking skills needed to evaluate texts in science, environmental issues, current events, and politics. They also learn to recognize persuasive techniques used by advertisers, authors and Internet providers. The year begins with a careful study of information provided in newspapers and in local and national news outlets. Eventually, students are able to write their own newscast. Documentary and feature films are also fully explored and evaluated. Finally, in support of our project-based learning initiative, Media Studies has a “hands on” element as Green Woods students learn to shoot, edit, script and produce their own “shorts.” We explore the whole process from “roll it” to “cut.” They may even start to wear black berets!