Lesson Plan

Cinema Cops - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 7 to 12

Author: This lesson has been adapted, with permission, from Dr. Cecil Greek’s Graduate Seminar in Criminal Justice “Crime and the Media” (2001), at Florida State University.

In this lesson students develop awareness of the ways in which public perceptions of law enforcement have been both reflected in and influenced by film and television depictions ofpolice over the past eighty years. Students begin by completing a “Cinema Cop Profile” based on images of police from TV and movies, followed by class discussion on how law enforcement is represented in different film and television genres, and whether or not these representations reflect reality. A “Cinema Cop Scavenger Hunt” provides students with an opportunity to research the ways in whichpolice have historically been portrayed in film.

Learning Outcomes

Students demonstrate:

  • an awareness of the media’s role in molding their perceptions of law enforcement officers
  • an understanding of the gap that exists between the media’s portrayal of policing and real life law enforcement
  • an appreciation of the ways in which Hollywood has portrayed law enforcement from the 1920s to the present

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version

Lesson Kit: