Teaching Media: Critically Evaluating Media Lesson Plan
Level: Grades 1 to 6
Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.
In this lesson, students learn how media influence how we see the world and send intentional and unintentional messages.
Big ideas/key concepts: Students will understand that...
Media are constructions:
- Media are imperfect representations of reality
- Media makers make intentional and unintentional choices when making a media work
- Media have social and political implications:
- Media influence how we see reality, including what we see as being good or bad
- What does media tell us about the real world?
- What does media tell us about things like kindness or friendship?
- How can media works say things that the people who made them didn't mean to say?
- How does what happens to different characters shape our idea of what's good and bad?
- How does what is put in to (or left out of) a media work affect the meaning we take from it?
Frequent student misconceptions: Media are an accurate reflection of reality; all media messages are conscious and intentional
Essential knowledge: Students will know...
Media representation: Media communicate explicit and implicit messages through story, characterization, and framing
Key vocabulary: Media frame
Performance tasks: Students will…
- Consider ways in which media accurately and inaccurately reflect reality
- Analyze implications of media portrayals on our values
- Reflect on how media experiences have shaped their views and values
This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.