Greetings from The Paley Center for Media’s Education Department!
During this unprecedented time, we thought we would reach out to our community with some tips and ideas for consuming media with your kids! It’s inevitable that screen time is going to increase in the coming months and so we’re here to help! In each newsletter we’ll highlight a different program that connects to a certain content area and relevant age group.

First of all, a quick word about media literacy. Consuming media with your kids is a perfect jumping off point to making media literacy a part of your everyday lives. Familiarizing yourself with the basics is a great first step. In case you missed it, you can view our last newsletter about media literacy best practices archived here . We also recommend the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Parents Guide —it’s a terrific introduction!
Announcing Weekly Zoom Meetups
Thursdays, 3 to 3:30pm ET
We want to see you! Join the weekly Zoom Meetups with our educators Bekah Fisk and Caroline Quigley. We'll chat about the weekly watching recommendation—this week it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer —or whatever else is on your mind regarding media literary and at-home learning. Here's the link to connect.
This Week's Recommendation:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we thought we would take the opportunity to spotlight one of our absolute favorite TV characters: Buffy, from the groundbreaking series Buffy the Vampire Slayer . Any discussion of feminism, pop culture, and media literacy would be incomplete without mentioning her! While we love the whole Buffy series, we’ll focus on just one episode for this newsletter: “The Witch” (Season 1, Episode 3). This episode is appropriate for Grades 7+ and available to watch on Hulu. We think it’s a fun and engaging springboard for kids, parents, and teachers to examine gender representation in the media.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “The Witch” (Season 1, Episode 3) Viewing Questions:

  • Notice everything you can about the main character, Buffy. What does she look like? How does she behave? What does she want?
  • Notice everything you can about the other characters we meet. What do they look like? How do they behave? What do they want?
  • Describe the relationship between Buffy and her mom. Do they understand each other? What do they want from each other?
  • Describe the relationship between Amy and her mom. Do they understand each other? What do they want from each other?
  • Who is the “hero” in this episode? How do you know?
  • Who is the “villain” in this episode? How do you know?
  • Do you notice any examples of gender stereotypes? Are any of the stereotypes confirmed? Are any of the stereotypes disproved or ignored?
Additional Resources
For some witchy behind-the-scenes entertainment, check out this clip from our panel with the cast of Charmed about witches and powerful women.

This article from Smithsonian Magazine offers a helpful historical background on the Salem Witch Trials.

This article from Vox helps put the cultural significance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in context for new viewers.

Extension Activity: Writing Prompts!
It can be so valuable to put your thoughts and feelings down on the page. Not only will it help you remember your ideas more clearly, it also gives you a chance to hone your writing skills. Here are some prompts to get you started!
  • Macbeth, The Crucible, The Wizard of Oz, Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Harry Potter… How have witches been portrayed in culture over time? Do you think these portrayals are fair? What do you think these portrayals say about the creator’s (and society’s) feelings toward powerful women?
  • Who is your favorite female action hero? Why?
  • What kinds of stories aren’t usually told about girls and women? How could you change this?

Extension Activity: Move Your Body!
This episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is all about cheerleading. Using other cheerleading performances on YouTube as tutorials, learn some new steps and move your body. Even though many of us are stuck at home these days, we still need exercise and movement to stay active and healthy!
Focus On: Paley Online Classes
We have also introduced several new online learning opportunities to our website. Follow these links for more details!

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, send us an email at eduny@paleycenter.org.

Be well and happy watching,
Rebekah Fisk, Director of Education
Caroline Quigley, Senior Manager of School & Family Programs
Support the Paley Center
We hope this inspires you to watch and learn together in a new way at home! The Paley Center is here for you and, now more than ever before, we would deeply appreciate your support.
THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA