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Lesson Plan

Media Literacy: Examining the World of Television Teens

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Maureen Carroll

Pleasanton, California

Leslie Harper Blatteau

New Haven, Connecticut


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives



Teacher Resources




  • Computers with Internet access

  • One classroom computer with a projection screen (optional)

  • One taped episode of a television program popular with students on a VHS tape or DVD

  • Television and VCR or DVD player


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Literary Elements Map

Grades   6 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Inquiry & Analysis

Literary Elements Map

Students can map out the key literary elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution as prewriting for their own fiction or as analysis of a text by another author in this secondary-level interactive.


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ReadWriteThink: Site Tools

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The goal of this lesson is to help students increase their awareness of media, and become critical, reflective, and active viewers and producers of media. These skills emerge as students increase their awareness of how and why media is made, how different viewpoints and perspectives are portrayed, and how character, plot, and motivation are developed in the various media programs they view.

In this lesson, students have the opportunity to analyze why certain television shows are more popular with teenagers than others. With these observations in mind, students create their own idea for a show. This is an important part of the lesson because responding to media and becoming active "readers" and producers of media are essential parts of developing media literacy skills.

1. Informally chat with a few of your students about what their favorite television shows are. This will give you an idea of what programs they will indicate as their favorites when you conduct the class-wide survey. Familiarize yourself with the characters and general story lines of these shows by watching them or visiting their websites. Once your class votes on the most popular show, you will have to record one episode for students to view in class during Session 2.

2. Identify, preview, and bookmark websites about the television shows on the computers your students will be using. Remember that it is critically important to give students time to explore the websites independently and without any prescribed direction. Give students the opportunity to discover and learn in ways that may not be apparent to you. Computer learning is often about discovery.

3. If you are not familiar with the online Literary Elements Map, you may want to complete one prior to working on it with your students in Session 2. Add this tool to the Favorites on the computers your students will be using and make sure that it is working properly on all computers. If you experience difficulty, make sure that computers have the most recent version of the Flash plug-in, which can be downloaded for free from the ReadWriteThink Site Tools page.

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