Standards Database Logo
Home | Browse | Search | Purpose | History | Process | Acknowledgment| Reference



List of Benchmarks for Language Arts

Standard 9.Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Not appropriate for this level
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Understands the main idea or message in visual media (e.g., graphics, animation, comic books, television)
   2. Uses a variety of strategies to predict content and meaning in visual media (e.g., uses knowledge of the structure of television programs: for cartoons, make predictions based on program length, experience that a resolution will be reached and that main characters will overcome difficulties to return to the next episode; uses knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships to predict plot development)
   3. Knows how different elements help to establish plot, setting, and character in visual narratives (e.g., action, dialogue, music, clothing, facial expressions)
   4. Knows different features (e.g., facial expressions, body language, gesture, clothing, actions, relationships, dialogue) that affect a viewer’s perceptions of characters in visual media (e.g., qualities that identify a "hero" or a "villain")
   5. Knows different elements from films, videos, television, and other visual media that appeal to him or her (e.g., scary parts, action segments, particular characters, color, sound effects, animation, layout, music)
   6. Understands the similarities and differences between real life and life depicted in visual media (e.g., compares own family to families represented in television cartoons or films; knows that there is a difference between a character in a program and the actor)
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Understands different messages conveyed through visual media (e.g., main ideas and supporting details; facts and opinions; main characters, setting, and sequence of events in visual narratives)
   2. Understands techniques used to convey messages in visual media (e.g., animation; different tones of voice in audio productions; adjusting messages for different audiences)
   3. Knows that film and television have features that identify different genres (e.g., style of dress, setting in a western or a drama)
   4. Understands the different ways in which people are stereotyped in visual media (e.g., clever people wearing glasses, mothers working at home, scientists wearing white coats; super heroes; people from different socio-cultural or minority groups) and understands that people could have been represented differently
   5. Understands techniques used to establish mood in visual media (e.g., use of camera angles and distances to create a specific feeling or point of view, tension heightened by dramatic music, sound effects such as a heartbeat or squeaking chair, use of a deep voice, somber lighting to imply mystery or fear)
   6. Understands the use and meaning of symbols and images in visual media (e.g., the use of color, such as red to represent emotion, anger, or excitement; the use of expressions, such as smiling to mean happiness; the dependence of symbols on shared social and cultural understandings; symbolic links between product names or logos and products)
   7. Understands basic elements of advertising in visual media (e.g., sales approaches and techniques aimed at children, appealing elements used in memorable commercials, possible reasons for the choice of specific visual images)
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands a variety of messages conveyed by visual media (e.g., main concept, details, themes or lessons, viewpoints)
   2. Uses a variety of criteria to evaluate and form viewpoints of visual media (e.g., evaluates the effectiveness of informational media, such as web sites, documentaries, news programs; recognizes a range of viewpoints and arguments; establishes criteria for selecting or avoiding specific programs)
   3. Knows typical genre of different visual media (e.g., in television: sitcoms, talk shows, news broadcasts, interviews, children’s programs; in film: westerns, musicals, horror, gangster)
   4. Understands the use of stereotypes and biases in visual media (e.g., distorted representations of society; imagery and stereotyping in advertising; elements of stereotypes such as physical characteristics, manner of speech, beliefs and attitudes)
   5. Understands how language choice is used to enhance visual media (e.g., language of particular television or film genres, the use of emotional or logical arguments in commercials)
   6. Understands how symbols, images, sound, and other conventions are used in visual media (e.g., time lapse in films; set elements that identify a particular time period or culture; short cuts used to construct meaning, such as the scream of brakes and a thud to imply a car crash; sound and image used together; the use of close-ups to convey drama or intimacy; the use of long camera shots to establish setting; sequences or groups of images that emphasize specific meaning, differences between visual and print media)
   7. Understands reasons for varied interpretations of visual media (e.g., different purposes or circumstances while viewing, influence of personal knowledge and experiences, focusing on different stylistic features)
   8. Knows that people with special interests and expectations are the target audience for particular messages or products in visual media; and knows that design, language, and content reflect this (e.g., in advertising and sales techniques aimed specifically towards teenagers; in products aimed towards different classes, races, ages, genders; in the appeal of popular television shows and films for particular audiences)
   9. Understands techniques used in visual media to influence or appeal to a particular audience (e.g., production techniques, such as designing a news program as entertainment; persuasive techniques, such as exaggerated claims, portrayal of appealing lifestyles, bandwagon, glittering generalities; subliminal messages; narrative style)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Uses a range of strategies to interpret visual media (e.g., draws conclusions, makes generalizations, synthesizes materials viewed, refers to images or information in visual media to support point of view, deconstructs media to determine the main idea)
   2. Uses a variety of criteria (e.g., clarity, accuracy, effectiveness, bias, relevance of facts) to evaluate informational media (e.g., web sites, documentaries, news programs)
   3. Understands the conventions of visual media genres (e.g., a talk show contains an opening monologue, humorous discussion between host and "sidekick", guest interview, interaction with the audience, and special performances; news programs present the events of the day as stories with setting, character, conflict, and resolution)
   4. Understands that the rules and expectations about genres can be manipulated for particular effects or purposes (e.g., combining or altering conventions of different genres, such as presenting news as entertainment; blurring of genres, such as drama-documentaries)
   5. Uses strategies to analyze stereotypes in visual media (e.g., recognizes stereotypes that serve the interests of some groups in society at the expense of others; identifies techniques used in visual media that perpetuate stereotypes)   A 
   6. Understands the connection between context and values projected by visual media (e.g., how the portrayal of characters, people, and ideas may project socio-cultural values; influence of changing societal values on media products; political context, such as conflicts between loyalty and betrayal in ’High Noon’, made in America during the McCarthy period; cultural values suggested by omissions from visual media, such as soap operas featuring only well-off people)
   7. Understands how images and sound convey messages in visual media (e.g., special effects, camera angles, symbols, color, line, texture, shape, headlines, photographs, reaction shots, sequencing of images, sound effects, music, dialogue, narrative, lighting)
   8. Understands effects of style and language choice in visual media (e.g., use of long-shots to signify both real and metaphoric isolation; rapid editing in a television commercial; juxtaposition of text and color in a billboard; words in headlines intended to attract attention)
   9. Understands how literary forms can be represented in visual narratives (e.g., allegory, parable, analogy, satire, narrative style, characterization, irony)
   10. Understands a variety of techniques used in advertising (e.g., portrayals of happy families and exotic places; celebrity endorsement; use of humor; emphasis on value and reliability; sex appeal; science and statistics; appeal to fears and insecurities)
   11. Understands how editing shapes meaning in visual media (e.g., omission of alternative perspectives; filtered or implied viewpoints; emphasis of specific ideas, images, or information in order to serve particular interests; the careful construction of seemingly straightforward texts)
   12. Understands the effects of visual media on audiences with different backgrounds (e.g., age, nationality, gender, class, belief system)

 A  = Assessment items available