Relationships and Sexuality in the Media Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9-12

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours

Digital Health

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


In this lesson, students learn to question media representations of gender, relationships and sexuality. After a brief “myth busting” quiz about relationships in the media and a reminder of the constructed nature of media products, the teacher leads the class in an analysis of the messages about gender, sex and relationships communicated by beer and alcohol ads. Students analyze the messages communicated by their favourite media types and then contrast it with their own experience.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Apply the key concept that media are constructions
  • Apply the key concept that media have social and political implications
  • Consider the differences between different media and different genres
  • Analyze multiple media types in terms of the messages they communicate regarding gender, relationships and sexuality
  • Create a stage presentation or media product

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