Girls and Boys on Television Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 3 to 6

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

This lesson is based on research performed by Maya Götz, head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television.

Duration: 2 hours

media representation

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In this lesson, students discuss television programming aimed at children and how girls and boys are portrayed in it. Students illustrate what they dislike about portrayals of girls or boys and then create their own TV character who will counter the illustrated negative portrayals.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • recognize that the media construct reality
  • understand that the representations made by the media are not always accurate
  • understand how their own gender perceptions are affected by the media
  • consider how well media images of gender reflect their own opinions and experiences
  • express opinions in writing
  • express themselves creatively

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

Lesson Kit