Media Literacy for the 2024 Provincial General Election in British Columbia Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12

About the Author: MediaSmarts

This lesson was created by MediaSmarts for Elections BC.


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


This lesson package is designed to be modular, allowing teachers to choose activities that are most relevant to their students. The recommended sequence is as follows:

Minds On: Spotting Deepfakes (30 minutes): A “minds on” activity that introduces essential concepts of election-related misinformation, helps students retrieve prior knowledge, and shows the relevance of the topic. 

One or more of the following, in any order:

  • Your Information Ecosystem (45 minutes): In this activity, students analyze the quality of their information ecosystem and develop ways that they and the people who rely on them can improve it.

  • Recognizing Election Disinformation (30 minutes): This activity introduces students to frequently encountered “tropes” of election-related disinformation and provides practice in recognizing them.

  • Digital Ad Targeting (30-45 minutes): In this activity, students learn about how advertising on social networks is targeted based on users’ personal information, and investigate how that is used by political parties and interest groups.

  • Recognizing Polarizing Content (30-45 minutes): This activity teaches students how to recognize election-related misinformation based on the ways it provokes polarizing emotions.

Conclusion: Investigating Election Disinformation (60 minutes): Students are introduced to different strategies for verifying election-related information, including the idea of turning to a best single source (in this case, Elections BC). They then learn and practice engaging in active citizenship by responding to election-related disinformation.

Learning Outcomes

Minds On: Spotting Deepfakes

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will demonstrate an understanding that:

  • photos can sometimes be inaccurate or misleading

  • images relating to politics or elections can influence our political views as well as how we vote

  • digital content can be verified by finding and verifying the original source and by checking against sources known to be reliable

Your Information Ecosystem 

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will understand that:

  • We use many sources of information and news

  • Professional news sources gather their own news and have processes to make sure it’s accurate

  • Many other news sources share and aggregate news

  • We have control over the health of our information ecosystems

Recognizing Election Disinformation 

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will understand that:

  • Our views about politics and elections can be influenced by disinformation

  • Disinformation about politics and elections usually falls into recognizable tropes

  • Disinformation about politics appeals to us more when it supports things we already believe

Digital Ad Targeting

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will understand that:

  • Political advertisements are crafted and designed to communicate specific and targeted messages

  • Organizations use personal information to target and influence our political opinions and ideologies

  • Targeted advertisements rely on networks to discriminate between who sees specific messages

Recognizing Polarizing Content 

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will understand that:

  • Thinking in absolutes contributes to polarization

  • Polarization pushes us to more extreme views by appealing to or offending our values

  • Political groups, advertisers, and tech platforms may benefit from polarization

Investigating Election Disinformation

Big ideas/Key concepts: Students will understand that:

  • There is sometimes a single best source for specific information

  • The best source for information on the electoral process is the relevant electoral authority

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