Miscast and Seldom Seen - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9-12

Duration: 1-2 hours

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts


In this lesson students consider how well their favourite TV shows, movies and video games reflect the diversity of Canadian society. Students are introduced to the media education key concepts that "media are constructed to represent reality" and “media communicate values and messages”, and learn about the constructed nature of media products, how media "re-presents" people, ideas and events from a particular viewpoint, and what the possible consequences of under-representation and inaccurate portrayals of diversity might be. Next, students learn about Canadian voluntary industry codes on diversity portrayal and consider whether they should be applied to other media. As a summary activity, students take a stand on a diversity issue relating to media through creating a social media campaign on a platform of their choice.

This lesson is part of the That's Not Me: Diversity in Media lesson series.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • become aware of how diversity is portrayed in Canadian media
  • understand the effects of under-representation and stereotyping on minority groups and on society's perceptions and attitudes towards them
  • appreciate the consequences of under-representation both behind and in front of the screen
  • learn about how to take action on issues relating to diversity in media express and support their opinion using a given literary form

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

Lesson Kit