Once Upon a Time Lesson Plan


Level: Grades 3 to 6

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

media representation icon

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


In this lesson, students become aware of the idea of stereotyping and the role that stereotypes play in the stories and movies that they enjoy. They learn how media techniques can affect how we feel about a character and how that can contribute to stereotyping, and consider how stories may be different when told from different points of view.  

Learning Outcomes

Know: Students will learn the following essential domain knowledge:

  • Media representation: Visual and text techniques in media representations affect how we see characters and groups, which can result in stereotyping

Understand: Students will learn the following key concepts/big ideas:

  • Media are constructions: Media makers make choices that influence the meaning we take from a text
  • Media have social and political implications: Media influence how we see people and groups
  • Audiences negotiate meaning: Different people can interpret the same text in different ways

Do: Students will understand how media makers’ choices influence how we experience a work and engage with different media representations. In an optional activity, students use appropriate technology to create a media work that expresses their learning.

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

Lesson Kit