Put Your Best Face Forward Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7 to 9

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts and Stacey Dinya

Duration: 1½-2 hours

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


In this lesson, students start by discussing the phenomenon of “selfies” and serve as experts in advising the teacher on the standards by which the “best” selfies are judged. They then discuss a number of statements taken from interviews with youth that highlight issues of self-representation, body image and gender standards, and learn about “photoshopping” images. Finally, students apply what they have learned by modifying an image that is at least 50 years old to meet “selfie” standards.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • reflect on their attitudes towards body image and gender
  • understand the constructed nature of media images
  • learn strategies for managing body

Home and School Connection

Click here to download the Before and After slideshow.

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

Lesson Kit: 

 Put Your Best Face Forward

Put Your Best Face Forward - Plug and play video lesson

This video version of the above lesson plan is designed so that teachers can present the lesson on a screen or digital whiteboard with minimal preparation. The video lesson is presented by one of MediaSmarts' media education specialists and includes opportunities for discussion, classroom activities and assessment. You will find the handouts and/or assignment sheets for the lesson in the link below the video.


 Put your best face forward

Lesson Kit