Quebec Competencies Chart - Who Knows? Your Privacy in the Information Age

Author: This unit has been adapted, with permission, from Who Knows? Your Privacy in the Information Age, the American Express Company, 1993.
Level: Secondary Cycle One and Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Lesson Link: Who Knows? Your Privacy in the Information Age

Description: In this lesson, students explore issues relating to privacy through a series of activities, surveys and quizzes.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To solve problems
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • 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
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights

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
  • Examines the relationship between context, producer of text and familiar, intended audience to identify potential problems in communication:
    • Adopts a stance to topic and audience
  • Presents the spoken text to audience

Action Research

  • Defines the issue to be researched by asking questions such as: what are the questions that are critical to this issue? What should we do with what we learn? Who should we talk to or interview? What other resources should we seek?
  • Develops a research process to collect data, e.g. researching, interviewing, videotaping, discussing, observing, connecting ideas across disciplines, and using the practical knowledge and experiences of the group
  • Analyzes the data and constructs a working theory to explain and interpret the data

Competency Two: Represents his/her literacy in various media

Production Process


  • 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
  • Reviews and edits text to focus on meaning(s)/message(s)


  • Presents text to intended audience

Text, Audience, Producer

Audience and Producer

  • Explores self as individual member of audience (use, personal biases, prior experiences) and as part of a larger target audience
  • Discusses characteristics of producer:
    • Identifies aspects of media industry related to marketing and promotion

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
  • Focuses on the relationship between own world and world of the text to construct an interpretive reading, e.g. elaborates on story world or information in text, connects literature or nonfiction to life experience(s), recognizes familiar textual features, codes and conventions that confirm own meaning(s)/message(s)

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
    • Examines the constructed world of narrative text: uses her/his response(s) as the basis for connecting own meaning(s) to the conventions used to plot/construct the story
  • 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)

Reader, Text, Context: Interpreting Texts

  • Interprets the text for a familiar audience by drawing associations between own world of personal experiences and knowledge and the world of the text by considering:
    • Own characteristics as a reader and the constructed world of a text, e.g. comparison of own values and experiences with those presented in the text; issues, ideas or questions the text raises for her/him; experience with similar texts; attitudes towards subject/topic/character; personal interests
    • Predictions and inferences about the view of the world presented in text
    • Initial, tentative impressions about the statement(s) or view of the world the author/narrator /producer is making