Quebec Competencies Chart - Relationships and Sexuality in the Media

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
Level: Grades 9-12
Lesson Length: 1.5 - 2 hours
Lesson Link:

Description: In this lesson, students learn to question media representations of gender, relationships and sexuality. After a brief “myth busting” quiz about relationships in the media and a reminder of the constructed nature of media products, the teacher leads the class in an analysis of the messages about gender, sex and relationships communicated by beer and alcohol ads. Students analyze the messages communicated by their favourite media types and then contrast it with their own experience.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To use creativity
  • To use information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • Media Literacy
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities 

This lesson satisfies the following Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

English Language Arts

Uses language/talk to communicate and learn

Establishes a repertoire of resources for communicating and learning in specific contexts

  • Investigates the affordances of spoken language as a mode of communication
  • Examines some of the aesthetic qualities of spoken language
  • Develops rhetorical strategies to achieve specific purposes
  • Examines the affordances of genres
  • Extends the range of strategies for collecting the data needed for use in specific genres

Participates in the social practices of the classroom and community in specific contexts

  • Investigates the uses of spoken language in the school and community
  • Plans and carries out independent units of study
  • Conducts exploratory ethnographic research
  • Organizes and maintains an integrated profile of work over the cycle
  • Engages in a process of self-evaluation and reflection
  • Confers with the teacher in regular and ongoing evaluation conferences

Interacts with peers and teacher in specific contexts

  • Collaborates with peers to construct knowledge about how things are done
  • Participates in collaborative action research groups using an inquiry process
  • Applies procedural and meaningmaking strategies to achieve a purpose
  • Contributes to team efforts as an interactive and critical listener

Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Integrates reading profile, stance and strategies to make sense of a text in a specific context

  • Reads for pleasure and to learn
  • Draws on prior experience and the features of a genre to make sense of a text
  • Adjusts reading strategies and stance to the context
  • Develops research and organizational strategies for working with information

Talks about own response to a text within a classroom community

  • Deepens own meaning(s) of a text in discussions with other readers
  • Situates meanings within own experiences and the world of the text, in order to transform initial readings into more conscious interpretations
  • Considers possible reasons for own responses and the responses of others to clarify and reshape the relationship between self as reader and the text
  • Shares Integrated Profile in teacher-student conferences

Interprets the relationship(s) between reader, text and context in light of own response(s)

  • Explains the impact of a text on self as reader by returning to its social functions, as well as the way meanings and messages are constructed
  • Draws on own reading profile, including knowledge of textual structures and features, to locate textual details that support own interpretations
  • Constructs interpretations that embody both own world and the world of the text

Produces texts for personal and social purposes

Extends repertoire of resources for producing texts

  • Immerses self in texts to learn how they are constructed
  • Investigates the codes and conventions of various genres
  • Creates criteria for what makes text(s) effective
  • Examines the affordances of different modes and genres to make production decisions
  • Uses models of different texts to apply chosen features in own work
  • Applies codes and conventions of written and media language
  • Compares own style in relation to other writers/producers
  • Develops standards for using language responsibly to represent people, events and ideas

Constructs a relationship between writer/producer, text and context

  • Understands that all texts are constructed in specific contexts for specific audiences and purposes
  • Researches as a writer/producer to become more informed, to create authentic contexts and to characterize an audience
  • Assumes various roles in own productions
  • Analyzes the elements of the context and shapes the text accordingly
  • Examines the differences between producing texts for public and private spaces.

Adapts a process to produce texts in specific contexts

  • Participates both individually and collaboratively in different recursive phases of the production process
  • Confers regularly with peers and teacher throughout the production process
  • Uses feedback strategies to improve own productions and support peers
  • Reflects on own development as a writer/producer over time
  • Monitors own learning
  • Cultivates a variety of media and writerly practices
  • Explores a variety of avenues for wider publication

Visual Arts

Creates media images

Uses ideas to create a media production

  • Is open to a stimulus for creation
  • Is receptive to ideas, images, emotions, sensations and impressions evoked by the stimulus
  • Takes into account the characteristics of the target audience
  • Keeps a record of his/her ideas
  • Explores various ways of conveying ideas through images and adapting them to the target audience
  • Chooses ideas and plans a media creation project

Shares his/her experience of media creation

  • Considers his/her creative intention and progress
  • Identifies the important elements of his/her experience and its characteristics
  • Makes comparisons with his/her previous learning
  • Identifies what he/she has learned and the methods used

Uses transforming gestures and elements of media language

  • Experiments with methods of materializing his/her ideas
  • Makes use of his/her memory of transforming gestures and knowledge of media language
  • Chooses the most meaningful gestures and elements for his/her creative intention
  • Develops methods of using these gestures and elements in order to adapt them to the target audience

Structures his/her media production

  • Applies the results of his/her experiments
  • Shapes the material and language elements and organizes them on the basis of the message to be conveyed
  • Validates the media impact of the visual message on a control group
  • Reviews his/her choices of material and language
  • Makes adjustments
  • Refines certain elements, if necessary

Physical Education and Health

Adopts a healthy, active lifestyle

Develops a plan designed to maintain or change some personal lifestyle habits

  • Using appropriate tools, prepares a summary of observable facts about own lifestyle habits
  • Chooses two lifestyle habits to maintain or change, if appropriate
  • Begins a process
  • Identifies own tastes and aptitudes
  • Plans a strategy with two realistic objectives and anticipates the consequences
  • Uses a variety of resources

Evaluates own process and lifestyle habits

  • Using appropriate tools, measures whether own fitness level has been maintained or improved
  • Judges whether the objective was met, in light of data collected
  • Explains the reasons for difficulties and achievements
  • Reconsiders choice of strategy and results obtained
  • Identifies new learning

Recognizes work accomplished

  • Makes a decision based on the evaluation
  • Carries out the plan
  • Applies own strategy to improve or maintain two lifestyle habits
  • Uses the resources required to carry out the plan
  • Perseveres in carrying out the plan
  • Using appropriate tools, compiles facts about changes to own lifestyle habits