Perceptions of Youth and Crime Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 7 to 12

Author: MediaSmarts

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


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.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • become aware of the gap between Canadian's perceptions about crime and actual crime statistics.
  • understand the media's influence on society's perception of young people.
  • understand the impact that the media's portrayal of youth violence has on their own lives.
  • understand how media bias can result in negative depictions of young people in the media.

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

Lesson Kit