Celebrities and World Issues - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7 to 12 

Author: This unit was created for MediaSmarts by Media Educator, Maureen Baron.

media representationcommunity engagement

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


In this four-day unit, students will examine the role of popular culture celebrities in creating awareness of world issues. Students will debate whether celebrity involvement is important and positive, or whether such involvement brings too much attention to the celebrities themselves, overshadowing the central messages of a campaign, organization, program or issue.

As well, students will examine issues such as:

  • Who sets the agenda for the public awareness and perception of the issues?
  • How do the media, sponsoring organization and celebrities frame the issues in developing nations?

This lesson is part of the Beyond Media Messages: Media Portrayal of Global Development lesson series.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate critical thinking in considering the impact of celebrity-based campaigns on our views of global development issues
  • express and support their opinion on whether celebrity involvement in global development issues is positive
  • demonstrate a broadened understanding of global development issues
  • express their learning through creation of a media product

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