Quebec Competencies Chart - Thinking Like a Citizen

Author: Nova Scotia Department of Health, Drug Dependency and Tobacco Control Unit
Level: Secondary Cycle One
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Lesson Link: Thinking Like a Citizen

Description: In this lesson, students explore various avenues for expressing concern and influencing public opinion about the health hazards of smoking. Students assume the role of social activists, and brainstorm ways of focusing media attention on the risks of smoking.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To solve problems
  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To be creative
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To use information and communications technologies for learning purposes
  • To work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Media Literacy
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Citizenship and Community Life

This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

Competency One: Uses language/talk to communicate and learn

Production Process:

  • Uses strategies to generate, clarify and expand ideas
  • Explores a structure that will help the audience to receive the intended meaning:
    • Selects an organizational structure suitable to function of text
    • If necessary, combines one or more text structures to present more complex issues or to create specific effects
  • Examines the relationship between context, producer of text and familiar, intended audience to identify potential problems in communication:
    • Interprets audience’s expectations to determine which features are most important
    • Analyzes the characteristics of the audience
    • Adopts a stance to topic and audience
    • Chooses a level of language or register most suitable to the context
  • Uses linguistic structures and features to communicate her/his meaning and to influence the audience in the manner intended:
    • Prepares several drafts, if the context warrants it, and rehearses with peers as a simulated audience
    • Selects relevant devices such as emotional or rational appeals to influence the audience
    • Selects the usage conventions suitable both to the text type and to the expectations of the audience
  • Presents the spoken text to audience

Social Practices of Classroom and Community

  • Examines the discourse used to present information in selected spoken, written and media texts

Competency Two: Represents his/her literacy in various media

Production Process

Preproduction

  • Negotiates text type to be produced
  • Immerses self in the text type to be produced in order to deconstruct some of its textual features, codes and conventions:
    • Analyzes samples of text type
    • Carries out a content analysis or inquiry into some aspect of media text
  • Rehearses production process:
    • Creates criteria for guiding production, e.g. features of an effective poster or advertisement
    • Discusses the purpose, context, target audience and their needs
    • Decides about medium, mode and code
    • Writes script, storyboard or rough draft

Production

  • Communicates information, experiences, points of view and personal responses to a familiar audience
  • Inter-relates the characteristics of media text in a specific context drawing on:
    • Specific communication strategies and resources
    • Images, symbols, signs, logos and/or words to communicate meaning(s)/message(s)
    • Knowledge of structures and features of other media texts brought into own productions
  • Reviews and edits text to focus on meaning(s)/message(s)

Postproduction

  • Presents text to intended audience

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

  • Uses different available technologies in order to construct own texts
  • Uses mixed media and multimedia resources to locate information, do research and communicate with others

Text, Audience, Producer

Textual Features, Codes and Conventions

  • Interprets media texts:
    • Draws on knowledge of production process and codes and conventions of texts produced
    • Explores the codes that construct media texts, e.g. headlines, captions and photographs in newspapers
    • Constructs message(s) and meaning(s) using familiar codes from media texts
    • Identifies functions of media discourse: to entertain, to persuade, to promote, to inform
    • Makes connection(s) between images, signs, symbols, pictures and printed text and meaning

Audience and Producer

  • Explores self as individual member of audience (use, personal biases, prior experiences) and as part of a larger target audience
  • Examines how media target specific audiences:
    • Identifies ways that different familiar audiences use the media
    • Identifies and generalizes aspects of familiar audiences
    • Identifies subjects of interest for specific audiences
    • Explores how the structures and features of texts shape meaning for an audience
    • Explains how own productions are adapted to interests of familiar audience chosen
  • Discusses characteristics of producer:
    • Explores where, when, why, by and for whom texts are produced
    • Identifies aspects of media industry related to marketing and promotion
    • Explores production choices made in own texts

Competency Three: Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Reader’s Stance: Constructing a Reading of a Text

  • Focuses on the world of the text to construct an aesthetic reading of text
  • Focuses on making sense of information in a text to construct an efferent reading, e.g. reads print and visual information with the intention of remembering details/examples and/or of following instructions, rereads to verify meaning(s) s/he is making, relates to personal experience and prior knowledge

Reading Strategies: Text Grammars (Structures, Features, Codes and Conventions)

  • Constructs meaning(s)/message(s) by reinvesting her/his knowledge of the text as social construct, i.e. language-in-use:
    • Draws on cues in familiar structures, features, codes and conventions to make sense of texts
    • Identifies connotation and denotation of words, images and their referents
  • Applies contextual understanding when meaning breaks down:
    • Socio-cultural: draws on understanding of values and beliefs to make sense of incidents, events or message(s)

Other subject-specific programs

Physical Education and Health

The Cycle One program states:

The messages conveyed by the media can have major repercussions on the behaviour of adolescents. Therefore, it is important that students be encouraged to maintain a critical distance with regard to the media. For example, during a big sports event, certain networks show violent images involving the athletes. Reports on doping, which some athletes resort to, raise ethical questions about respecting rules and about honesty and fair play. Advertising uses an infinite amount of female body images to demonstrate the effects of products that enable you to obtain the perfect body with no physical effort. This sometimes contradictory information cannot help but challenge students, who must exercise critical judgment when they situate this information in relation to the various contexts in which they develop the subject-specific competencies.

The broad area of learning Media Literacy is thus part of this program.