Representing Ourselves Online Lesson Plan

Level: Grades K to 3

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

Duration: 60-90 minutes

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


In this lesson, students talk about dressing up and taking on identities that are similar to or different from them. They are then introduced to the idea of avatars as a kind of “dressing up” inside video games and consider the ways in which the technical, generic and aesthetic limitations on avatar creation and customization affect their choices and their ability to represent themselves online.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • consider that media products are constructions and do not necessarily reflect reality
  • learn about the use of avatars to represent people in virtual environments
  • reflect on the relationship of virtual identities to personal identities
  • become aware of the ways in which technological and commercial factors influence avatar creation and reflect on their effect on identity

Home and School Connection

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

Lesson Kit