Quebec Competencies Chart - Perceptions of Youth and Crime

Author: MediaSmarts
Level: Secondary Cycle One and Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Lesson Link: Perceptions of Youth and Crime

Description: In this lesson students develop an awareness of the ways in which public perceptions regarding young people have been affected by media portrayals of youth violence and youth crime. Students begin by assessing their own attitudes towards youth and crime through class discussion and a Youth Crime Quiz. Next, they learn how to recognize bias in news reporting and then apply this knowledge by monitoring youth-related stories that appear in newspapers, magazines and television news. A «take action» component to this lesson encourages students to contact news sources that demonstrate bias in the reporting of youth-related stories.

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 work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Media Literacy

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

COMPETENCY 1 uses language/talk to communicate and to learn

  • Compares the affordances of written, media and multimodal languages in achieving a specific purpose

COMPETENCY 2 Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Constructing a Reading of a Text

  • Focuses on the relationship between self as reader and the text to construct an interpretive reading
  • Activates relevant prior personal knowledge and experience to make sense of a text which is frequently expressed in text-to-self connections, text-to-world connections, text-to-text connections
  • Asks questions of self, writers(s) and text(s) as s/he reads to clarify and focus reading
  • Determines the most important ideas/messages/themes in a text
  • Draws inferences from a text
  • Retells or synthesizes what s/he has read, e.g. attends to the most important information and the quality of the synthesis itself to better understand the text

Reader, Text, Context

Draws inferences about the view of the world presented in a text

  • Identifies dominant elements and interprets their use, e.g. point of view, specific literary conventions, structure and sequence of argument, patterns of cause and effect
  • Identifies the characteristics of the writer/producer and evaluates how these influence meaning, i.e. how stance, socio-cultural context, values and/or beliefs shape the world of the text
  • Explores how power relationships are constructed in the text
  • Examines how language (word, sound and image) is shaped to present ideas and information
  • Makes connections between the depiction of different groups in texts and the context or setting of a text

Justifies her/his interpretation(s) of texts on the basis of own fluency as a reader

  • Evaluates the way specific codes and conventions of a spoken/written/media text are employed to have an impact upon the assumptions, actions, values and beliefs of readers:
    • codes and conventions of a specific genre that are employed to have an impact on readers in general or on a target audience in particular
    • mode(s) of representation (sound, word and image) that influence the message(s)/meaning(s) of a text and how these reveal the intention(s) of the writer/producer(s)
    • linguistic and textual features that situate or position the reader, e.g. connotations and denotations, stereotypes and bias, aspects of characterization and setting that evoke a specific emotion or response, appeals to mainstream values and beliefs
    • issues and topics that present alternative values, beliefs, lifestyles in order to evaluate meanings for self as part of a process of interpreting a text
    • features and conventions of favourite genres and how these are used to special effect, e.g. in a mystery or a romance novel, in a magazine article
  • Interrelates characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and self as a reader:
    • identifies characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and applies this knowledge to determine how the text is designed to appeal to self as a reader, e.g. writer’s style, producer’s values or intent
    • evaluates a perspective or point of view and its impact on self as reader
    • analyzes the representation of different groups, including interest groups, in the press in relation to controlling ideas, opinions, main ideas

COMPETENCY 3 Produces texts for personal and social purposes

Researching as a Writer/Producer

  • Develops topics that are personally and socially relevant:
    • looks at multiple perspectives on the topic, e.g. pros and cons of an argument, how different people perceive the issue
    • considers open-ended question(s) to facilitate topic development
    • broadens and/or narrows the scope of the topic
  • Researches aspects of the media and publishing industries to best produce, market and distribute their products:
    • investigates how texts are produced and under what conditions

Assuming Roles as a Writer/Producer

  • Explores different dimensions of a character, issue

Characterizing an Audience

Investigates how different target audiences use and respond to particular texts:

  • compares and contrasts own responses, reactions and use of texts with those of peers, family, other households and more distant audiences

Public and Private Space

Examines the difference between producing texts for private and public audiences:

  • considers effect the medium has on a genre, e.g. reality TV’s pretence of intimacy, journalism as the arbiter of truth

Conducts a genre analysis:

  • compares and contrasts texts within a social function, i.e. Why do people produce them? Who has access to these texts? Do they serve the same purpose? How do they communicate the values of a community?
  • evaluates the structures, features, codes and conventions used
  • examines how language (sound, word and image) is shaped:
    • to represent and/or exclude people, events, ideas and information
    • to organize and develop ideas
    • for special effect

Applying Codes and Conventions

  • Explores the representation of gender, race, appearance, culture, social class

Planning and Drafting

  • Brainstorms ideas, clarifies and extends thinking by talking with peers and teacher
  • Evaluates material gathered and decides on its use, e.g. reviews video footage for best shots

Going Public

  • Makes final adjustments before presentation
  • Presents text to intended audience