Teaching Media: Learning With Media Lesson Plan


Level: Grades 2 to 6

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

media representation

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


In this lesson, students learn about media as a source of information, and how this information is presented from a particular point of view.

Learning Outcomes

Big ideas/key concepts: Students will understand that...

Media are constructions

  • Media makers make particular choices to achieve specific purposes

Media have social and political implications

  • How media present reality affects how we see the world

Each medium has a unique aesthetic form:

  • Codes and conventions of genres influence creators audiences
  • Media makers draw and direct audiences’ attention using specific techniques

Key questions:

  • How do we learn about the world from media?
  • How do we learn differently from different mediums and genres?
  • What different purposes are media makers working to achieve?
  • How do media makers draw and direct our attention?
  • How do media makers’ purposes and choices affect what we learn from media?

Essential knowledge: Students will know...

  • Reading media: Common media genres; media techniques for drawing and directing attention.
  • Making and remixing: Basic video production techniques
  • Media representation: Effects of genre and purpose on how accurately a work reflects reality.
  • Key vocabulary: Genre, Documentary, Educational video, Reality show, How-to video, Feature film, Action movie

Performance tasks: Students will be able to…

  • Name examples of different genres
  • Assess how realistic different genres are
  • Identify different ways that media makers direct attention, speculate on the reasons for their choices and analyze their effects
  • Optional: Create a media work that demonstrates their knowledge of media codes and conventions

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