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Lesson Plan

Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs

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Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Laurie A. Henry, Ph.D.

Laurie A. Henry, Ph.D.

Lexington, Kentucky


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



This lesson provides a platform in which students can critically analyze popular television programs. The media has a huge effect on popular culture. Television programs underscore stereotypes of various groups of people. By looking at the media critically, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.

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Luke, C. (May, 1999). Media and cultural studies in Australia. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 42, 622-626.

  • TV is a powerful source of social learning that shapes attitudes, social and consumer behaviors, and people's worldviews. The critical study of televisual texts, therefore, remains an important component of a critical literacy program.

  • The teaching on analytic skills aims to develop new strategies for thinking about the meanings media transmit and the meanings viewers construct for themselves.

  • The study of TV and other mass media, new interactive media, and popular culture is important not only because of their profound influence and pervasiveness, but because of the ways that media easily become "naturalised."


Considine, D. (October, 2002). Putting the ME in MEdia literacy. Middle Ground: The Magazine of Middle Level Education, 6, 15-21.

  • The world of the adolescent cannot be understood without considering the profound influence of the mass media.

  • Media literacy can empower youth to be positive contributors to society, to challenge cynicism and apathy, and to serve as agents of social change.

  • In ignoring advertising, TV, movies, video games, and contemporary music, we are in fact ignoring a significant part of the nature and needs of our students.


Shepherd, R. (1992). Elementary media education: The perfect curriculum. English Quarterly, 25, 23.

Children have vast amounts of information thrust upon them, much of it from media sources, much of it verbal or written, much of it visual, much of it manipulative. It is the child's task to make sense of it all, to construct reality from this information.

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