Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan #27

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Exploring Media Issues

Grades 8 to 12

Media Studies, Journalism, Language Arts, Writing, Social Studies, Health, Global Studies

In this activity students can use articles from the SNN Student Magazine, other youth publications OR mainstream media articles. Students read and discuss articles, then research and write either a response to one of the articles or choose an issue to write on.


  1. To develop students' understanding of media and issues that are important to them
  2. To give students the opportunity to discuss their views on different issues
  3. To develop research skills
  4. To develop critical thinking skills
  5. To develop writing skills

reading, writing, critical thinking, collaboration, investigation, communication and technology.


  • read about and discuss media and how it works
  • read and discuss issues relevant to media literacy
  • use multiple sources (internet, newspaper, audio/video, etc.) to research specific media issues
  • use multimedia (print, audio, video) to produce a story for publication
  • revise and edit their work, focusing on content and elements of style, independently and in collaboration with others

DURATION (approx):80-120 minutes


  • copy of relevant article from SNN Student Magazine, other youth publications or newspapers/magazines/news websites dealing with a media issue.
  • research material gathered from newspaper clippings, books, videos, internet etc. on the topic of various media issues relevant to teens. Issues could include teen image, stereotyping, violence, marketing to youth.
  • access to a computer (for researching and final copy processing)


  1. As a class, brainstorm on various media issues. Write down key issues brought forth by students. These could include teen image, violence in media, stereotyping, and censorship. Divide class in groups; each group to focus on an issue.
  2. Have each group select an article(s) from the SNN Student Magazine or other youth publication or mainstream media addressing a specific media issue.
  3. Students in each group should read the article(s) they've chosen and make notes on the contents of the article and the point the author(s) is making.
  4. Introduce/Recap persuasive essay /opinion writing format (link to SNN Reporters Toolbox http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/nr_reporterstoolbox/writingskills.html).
  5. Have students suggest elements that would make for a good persuasive article.
  6. As a class, each group should present the article chosen and discuss the issue present, the effectiveness of the author's ability to get their point across and how well they conform to the principles of writing a persuasive essay/opinion article.
  7. After each group discusses its article, invite discussion from other class members.
  8. Ask students to either write a response to one of the articles or write a persuasive article on the media issue. It could be the issue addressed in their group's article or any issue raised by other groups (articles should be between 300-500 words in length). Another option would be for students to use other media forms such as audio or video to present their article instead of written format.
  9. Provide students with a few days to research their topic. Research can be done on the internet (discuss using the internet for research), library, books, magazines, newspapers.
  10. Draft copies of written articles or audio/video presentation are exchanged with a classmate who proofreads for grammar, spelling, and structure.
  11. Once finalized, stories are submitted to teacher and read aloud in class. They can also be submitted their school newspaper or an online youth magazine for publication.


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