Film Classification Systems in Québec Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 11-12 (Secondary 4 and 5)

Author: Thierry Plante, Media Education Specialist, MediaSmarts

Duration: 2.5 hours

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


In this lesson students learn about the systems used to classify films, TV programs and video games. Students are asked to take a critical look at the criteria applied to classify these media products, and then take into account and discuss the underlying social and political aspects arising from those systems.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • understand the film classification system of the Régie du cinéma;
  • understand TV program and video game classification systems and discuss them with a critical eye;
  • understand the legal and ethical issues associated with limiting the access of the population to some media products;
  • become aware of the challenges facing film classification regulators in determining “social consensus”;
  • understand the following media literacy key concepts in relation to film classification:
  • that media products have social and political implications;
  • that audiences negotiate meaning;
  • that media have commercial considerations
  • read an article and answer comprehension questions;
  • present and defend an opinion.

If students participate in the optional activity, they will also learn:

  • how to assert their opinions;
  • how to defend their rights as citizens and consumers.

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