December 30, 2022, Durham, NC – iRT is pleased to announce the third and newest edition of Media Detective Spanish, a media literacy, alcohol, tobacco, and vaping misuse prevention program designed for elementary school students. The Media Detective program consists of instructor-led, interactive classroom activities and hands-on practice opportunities to help students apply critical thinking skills to analyzing the media messages they consume. The Spanish version of Media Detective provides all curriculum content in Spanish to allow teachers to present program content in the language that students are most comfortable with. Media Detective Spanish’s updated edition has expanded upon past editions to provide a more comprehensive overview of substance-related media messages.

What’s new in Media Detective Spanish?

By participating in the Media Detective program, students are taught to analyze advertisements, particularly advertisements containing pro-drug messages about alcohol, tobacco, and vaping products, in order to make informed decisions about media messages. Previous editions of Media Detective Spanish have focused on learning and practicing logical analysis skills and producing media for alcohol, cigarette, and smokeless tobacco advertisements.

The new, improved edition of Media Detective Spanish has added program sections for student analysis of e-cigarettes and vaping advertisements. In addition, the program has expanded the types of media examples shown to students beyond print advertisements. The newest edition now also includes television commercials and social media posts from platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. In these ways, the program now includes examples of current forms of media messages children are most likely to consume, as well as information and media examples about vaping, a growing substance misuse problem among youth.

Through a series of 10 fully scripted, highly interactive lessons, students learn skills to deconstruct media messages found in a wide range of types of advertisements and commercials; practice applying these deconstruction skills; and create a counter-advertisement to respond to media messages they have seen for an alcohol, tobacco, or vaping product. The program’s curriculum includes various verbal, dramatic, writing, math, and artistic activities conducted as a whole class as well as individually and in small groups. Students are also given several homework activities described in their Student Detective Notebooks. Optional extension activities are offered if teachers want to provide students with additional practice opportunities. Suggestions for adaptations are offered for use by teachers across a variety of educational settings, using a variety of teaching styles, and with students who vary in their skill levels.

Now including commercials and social media posts, as well as content about vaping and e-cigarettes, Media Detective Spanish encompasses a broader range of media literacy topics to enhance students’ abilities to apply critical thinking skills to interpreting media messages.

Why use Media Detective Spanish?

Elementary school children consume large amounts of media each day and they are often the target of marketing and advertising, especially for unhealthy products and behaviors, such as alcohol, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and e-cigarettes. Thus, media literacy education is essential to help children become informed viewers who can form opinions about advertisements and make decisions based on logic rather than emotion. More specifically, it is important to teach children the skills needed to evaluate media messages about alcohol, tobacco, and vaping products to prevent substance misuse.

In addition to improving students’ abilities to critically evaluate advertisements, Media Detective Spanish has the potential to reduce interest in underage use of substances, as well as delay or prevent the onset of underage use.

Resources for Teachers

Media Detective Spanish is intended to be taught to third, fourth, and fifth grade students in educational settings, including classrooms, summer programs, and afterschool programs. Instructors are supplied with a license to access an online Curriculum Kit that includes the Media Detective Teacher Manual (PDF), Media Detective Multimedia Classroom Presentations, Student Detective Notebooks (PDF), and handouts needed for conducting classroom activities. Instructors have the option to purchase additional instructional materials, including posters in English or Spanish.

iRT offers an interactive web-based Teacher Training Workshop to support instructors looking to implement Media Detective Spanish in their classrooms or educational programs. For schools and prevention programs interested in teachers receiving training in the Spanish Media Detective program, please contact iRT ( to schedule an online training workshop series with one of our certified Media Detective teacher trainers.

To purchase a Media Detective program, visit