Do Sharks Love Ice Cream? Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7-9

About the the Author: Mathew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, plus time for the assessment task

This lesson was produced with the financial support of Digital Public Square.

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


In this lesson, students learn how science news articles are written and how to read them with a critical eye. They analyze elements such as peer review, correlation, and bias, and then write a science article based on an actual press release.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Understand how issues are represented in news and popular discourse, and analyze how these representations may or may not be accurate
  • Analyze how medium and genre elements direct attention, communicate meaning and provoke inference 
  • Understand the norms and practices of the news industry
  • Create a media work that makes effective use of codes and conventions of the medium and genre
  • Ask critical questions about what is and is not included in a media work, whose voices are and are not included or given priority, and the implications of those choices
  • Effectively use elements of medium and genre to direct attention, communicate meaning and provoke inference in a media work
  • Consider the moral and social implications of creating and distributing a media work

MediaSmarts is currently seeking teachers to help test and evaluate this classroom resource. Click here for more information. 

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