Teaching Media: Thinking About Media Lesson Plan


Level: Grades 1 to 6

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

media representation

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


In this lesson, children begin to think about basic concepts such as how audiences interpret meaning, and the constructed world of television and film.

Learning Outcomes

Know: Students will learn the following essential domain knowledge:

  • Reading media: How elements such as camera shots are chosen for specific effects
  • Making and remixing: How film-makers and other media creators use camera angle, distance, composition and colour to communicate character
  • Media representation: The ways that how we feel about characters represented in media is influenced by the techniques that are used to portray them

Understand: Students will learn the following key concepts/big ideas:

  • Media are constructions: Media works were made many people who made choices that affect the final work
  • Each medium has a unique aesthetic form: Different media communicate in different ways
  • Media have social and political implications: Media influence how we see people and groups

Do: Students will use tools to create a media work, understand how media makers’ choices influence how we experience a work, and engage with sympathetic and unsympathetic media representations

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