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My Journey Home:

Educational Outreach Elements


The centerpiece of the educational outreach plan is a student-produced project and competition which is designed to reflect the racial and ethnic composition of local communities. Using its successful Media Literacy project as a model, WETA developed an outreach packet to help local public television stations challenge students to write essays about the television series and its overarching themes of immigration, race, ethnicity, and cultural identity.


My Journey Home Web Site
View My Journey Home Web site
The Web site provides a wide range of resources, including teaching materials, the personal stories of the three individuals featured in the series, an opportunity for visitors to share their stories, and information about the series.

    Lesson Plans: These in-depth, multidisciplinary lessons help students explore the broader themes of the series: the impact of political and historic events on personal lives; the alienation felt by minorities living in an America still coming to grips with diversity; the ever-blurring boundaries of geography, race, ethnicity, and identity; and the changing definition of "home."

    Media Literacy Workshop: Can the media help us come to grips with the past and present of the America we live in? How does the media help perpetuate or challenge long-held beliefs, prejudices, and stereotypes? This section helps students to become more critical media users and to better understand media messages. It also prepares them to use the power of the media to produce their own multimedia essays about what it means to be an American.

    America, My Home Essay Contest: Once students completed the media literacy workshop, they created multimedia essays on the theme America, My Home. Each essay revealed a personal story about the student's experience as an American or the personal journey he or she took on the way to becoming an American. The essays, in audio, video, or print media, reflected one or more of the documentary's overarching themes. Student entries were submitted to local PBS stations and posted on each station's My Journey Home Web site. Stations then submitted the essays to WETA, where a committee of outreach, media literacy, and production specialists judged them. Three winning entries were selected: Best Video Essay, Best Audio Essay, and Best Written Essay. The winning written essays and runners-up were posted to the national project Web site; the video essay was streamed on the Web site; and the audio essay was broadcast on WETA-FM and streamed on the Web site. Each winning student received a plaque in recognition of his or her achievement, and runners-up were awarded certificates.

    Video Preproduction Checklist: This section provides a quick checklist of procedures and terms to assist students in producing a high-quality video.

    Media Literacy Glossary: This short glossary of production terms provides background for the Media Literacy workshop and video and audio essays.

    Your Journey Home
    Visitors to the Web site can add stories about their own "journey home" or read what others are saying on this discussion board hosted by PBS.

    Series Information
    This section includes show descriptions and background information about the producers.

Station Grants

Grants in the amount of $5,000 were awarded to 11 stations after an application process. Stations were required to do the following: conduct a media literacy workshop in conjunction with local community colleges; conduct a community screening with their community partners followed by a discussion of issues related to immigration and cultural identity; hold a local student essay competition and submit essays to the national competition; broadcast the series; and promote the series in their program guides via articles and notices. Stations were encouraged to post their essay submissions on their local Web sites and to link to the national site.

Person-to-Person Activities

The 11 grantee stations, as well as other PBS stations, held media literacy workshops with the materials developed by WETA staff. These materials helped prepare teachers and students to produce their video and audio essays. Production and Web staff at local stations and community college instructors of media, television production, and English helped present the workshop. Participants learned about video production and storyboarding and developed strategies for critical viewing to improve their understanding of media messages.

Next > Outcomes

In this section:

    Auschwitz: Inside the
    Nazi State

    Building Big

    Culture Shock



    In Search of Shakespeare

    Lewis & Clark:
    The Journey of the
    Corps of Discovery

    My Journey Home

        Goals & Audience

>      Educational
        Outreach Elements


        Challenges &
        Lessons Learned

    The New Americans

    Poetic License


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