Media Literacy Lesson Plan Ideas: TV and Movies

  1. Get permission from parents to have students watch and analyze a popular television show. Do the characters reflect real people? Is the story realistic?

    Have students research television production for this show. Was it filmed on a set? Is there a laugh track? Is there music? What about lighting and sound? Who told the actors what to say and do?

    An extension of this project could be to have them rewrite the script to make it more like real life, to make it less violent, or to make it more gender-equal.

  2. Split the class into two groups and have one group leave the classroom. Teach a simple lesson and videotape your lesson. If possible, teach a lesson with a demonstration. Then invite the second group in and have the first group leave. Play the videotape for the second group. Then have the entire class take a quiz on the material in your lesson. Afterwards, discuss which method was better for learning. Did one group learn more? Did one group pay more attention? Is there a way to make the video taped lesson better?

  3. Have students take inventory of all of the movie or television program merchandise they own. Why do they think these kinds of products are so popular? Which types of products are most popular in the class? Why do they think companies make products with television or movie characters on them?

  4. Have students research and create a mini-biography of their favorite movie or television star. Have them bring in images from magazines and the internet. Why do they like this person? What movies or programs has s/he been in? Are there similarities and differences between all the people chosen? What makes these people popular? Are they good role models? Why or why not?

  5. Have students creatively examine the role that music, sound effects, special effects and editing techniques have in holding our attention while watching TV or movies. Break the class into small groups and assign each of them to record a movie scene. Each group must do the same scene twice while varying one element.

    For example, one group should do the same scene with different music each time, while another groups tapes the same scene using differerent camera angles. After viewing each video, discuss the differences that exist between the two scenes.

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