Elise Gravel tackles misinformation and information literacy in children’s book “Killer Underwear Invasion”
Don’t be fooled by the silly title and primary-colored monsters of Elise Gravel’s latest book, Invasion of killer underwear: The children’s picture book is much more than a fun bedtime story. One of dozens of fun and informative Gravel picture books – including You can bea story of diversity and self-love, and the exploration of gender stereotypes Pink, blue and you! – his latest foray into socially engaged children’s media is actually an important moment in teaching media literacy.
In Invasion of killer underwearGravel characters run through real (and several invented) examples of fake news throughout history, such as the 1835 “Big Moon Hoax” speak New York Sun, which attempted to convince readers that unicorns, bipedal beavers, and bat-like creatures have been found on the moon. Throughout the book, young readers learn how to spot misleading content and how important it is for all of us, even the youngest, to know when interacting with credible information online. While Gravel makes it clear that fake news isn’t funny at all, his writing is certainly entertaining.
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The brightly illustrated character book is both a response and a tool in the fight against the growing misinformation plaguing the country, which manifests itself in both the simple and doctored images circulating on internet forums like facts and intentionally orchestrated disinformation campaigns.
Beyond technology industry and government To prevent the spread of misinformation, a widely accepted solution to the problem is to focus on increasing information and media literacy among the general public. Media literacy is defined as “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in various forms”. Media literacy is specifically a person’s ability to determine the credibility of news and other information. Both are essential. Organizations like the Media Literacy Projecta non-profit organization dedicated to information literacy, offers tools for educators and several resources for literacy at home education. Common Sense, a nonprofit that provides media and technology recommendations to families and teachers, has its own resource guide for teaching media literacy to school-aged children, both in the classroom and for the parents.
Educational campaigns such as these go against a growing problem of mistrust and nihilism aimed at mainstream media and viral moments on the internet. But as adults do their own learning and unlearning about news consumption, how do we prepare our children? Gravel’s answer is Invasion of killer underwear, a child-friendly practical guide against conspiracy and disinformation.
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The book tackles both basic and big questions such as “Why do people make up news?”, “What happens when fake news breaks out?” and “How do you tell real news from fake news?”
Gravel cuts to the chase with the answers. People create fake news to make money. They might do it to make money and become famous on the Internet. Or they could just do it to gain power. And it offers a refreshingly honest view of the world for children who understand much more than we give them credit for. “Remember,” she writes in the voice of a pink, round-eared creature, “social media companies want people to stay on their apps because the longer you stay, the more ads you see and the more ads the more MONEY the companies make.”
The book also introduces children to the concept of confirmation bias, the danger of conspiracy theories and the ins and outs of standards-based journalism, ending with an introductory guide to checking your own sources and finding media outlets. reliable information.
Gravel doesn’t just share all of this kid-friendly information in book form, it also makes it freely available. on his sitewhere you can download printable infographic explain things like refugee communities, racism, social media safetyand consent. There are lessons in the diversity of families and Hair and the the story science. If you can think of a big question that you struggle to talk about with your kids, Gravel probably wrote and drew about it.
The spread of misinformation has downstream effects on news consumers, content creators, and the average person scrolling through their social media feeds, but it also has the potential to impact how children perceive their digital environments. It can foment conspiracy and play on negative cognitive biases and fundamentally impact opportunities for productive learning. For families who want to tackle the big problems early, hoping to nip the scary stuff in the bud, Gravel’s latest book is worth a read.
Invasion of killer underwear is available for purchase online and in-store now.