Lesson Plan

Screen Stigma: Looking at Mental Illness in Popular Media

Lesson Plan

Level: Grade 9 to 10

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

Duration: 1 ½ to 2 hours, plus time for theassessment/evaluation 

This lesson was made possible with funding from Bell.

Reading Media icon from the digital media literacy framework.Media Representation icon from the digital media literacy framework.Media Health icon from the digital media literacy framwork.Making and Remixing icon from the digital media literacy framework

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

Overview

Students begin by viewing a slideshow that explores common stereotypes of mental illness and mental illness treatment in media. They read a prepared analysis of the portrayal of mental illness in a TV show popular with teens, then in a small group analyze another text of their choice. Finally, students create an annotated version of a scene or excerpt from a text in which they analyze and evaluate its portrayal of mental illness.

Learning Outcomes 

Students will:

  • Learn about common media stereotypes of mental illness and mental illness treatment
  • Consider the impacts of media stereotypes
  • Conduct a critical analysis of a media text
  • Create a critical media work

Click here to download the Media Myths and Mental Illness slideshow.

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

Lesson Kit: