Villains, Heroes and Heroines - Lesson Lesson Plan


Level: Grades 3 to 6

Author: MediaSmarts

media representation

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


This lesson introduces students to some of the myth-building techniques of television by comparing super heroes and super villains from television to heroes and villains in the real world and by conveying how violence and action are used to give power to characters. Students will also explore the use of stereotypes in the world of TV heroes and villains. The lesson begins with a discussion about villains. Students are asked to brainstorm a list of villains in the real world and discuss the characteristics and acts that make them villainous. Students then discuss and describe the kinds of "super heroes" and "super villains" they see on TV. To reinforce the differences between fantasy and reality, students play the game, Heroes, Heroines: Living in the Real World. In this game, two players assume the roles of TV heroes and sheroes, acting in the real world as they typically would on television and two other players take on the role of real life sheroes and heroes.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • understanding of the differences between real world (s)heroes and TV world (s)heroes
  • awareness of how stars and super (s)heroes are created on television
  • understanding of how violence and action are used to give power to characters
  • awareness of the stereotypes that are used in the world of TV (s)heroes

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