Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 14 Standard 2
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
This lesson is focused on media violence, especially comparing consequences of actions in real life vs. those portrayed in media (i.e., movies, tv, video games, etc.).
Computer with the following link open- http://mediasmarts.ca/sites/mediasmarts/files/pdfs/lesson-plan/Lesson_Facing_TV_Violence_Consequences_Media_Violence.pdf or a printed copy of pages 4-6 from the pdf
Whiteboard with marker or paper with pen
Explore the mediasmarts.ca site mentioned in the Materials section of this lesson plan. The whole lesson plan from Media Smarts is great and much of my lesson is very similar but the part that I use most often are pages 4-6, during the last part of the lesson. Brainstorm any examples from your own life experiences with media violence, a time it scared or really stuck with you. You might need to bring up that it is okay for something to bother one person and not another. A child can watch a movie or play a game with something that makes them feel uncomfortable but maybe it doesn't bother their friend or sibling. That is one reason why talking to parents or other trusted people is a good idea before viewing something. Give them some simple examples if needed.
What violence refers to, ex. physical or emotional acts or language that hurt or are used to intimidate others.
Students will understand that consequences of violence shown in media are not always true to life. They will be able to discuss their own experiences with media violence. Students will be aware of possible consequences of viewing media violence.
Introduce the topic, media violence, and ask students why they think we would be talking about it in library. After some discussion about it address that while books also have violence in them the lesson will primarily be addressing tv, movie, and video game violence.
If district/school policy permits show a short clip from the movie Tangled (or other appropriate films), where the character Flynn Rider enters the tower and is knocked unconscious with frying pan, then stuffed into a wardrobe, etc. Many students will laugh and be entertained by the clip; after viewing make a T chart and ask what the physical and emotional consequences of the violence were in the movie. Expect responses similar to: in the film Flynn was knocked unconscious, he was a little confused after he woke up, etc. Then compare with what the consequences would be in real life. Example responses might include: his head would bleed, when falling from the wardrobe he would have broken his nose, had a bloody nose, broken a bone, lost a tooth, etc. Make sure students are award that the misleading consequences don't make this or any other film a "bad" movie but by watching this some children might be lead to disregard/forget the real life consequences of violence.
Ask students if they have ever seen a younger sibling or cousin copy something they saw in a movie or other media that could have had very negative consequences in real life. Students themselves might remember a time they copied something and were hurt as a result. Have students discuss these examples among themselves for a few minutes and then have 3-5 students share their example. If you heard a particularly good example while listening to these discussions ask the student to share it or ask if you can share it for them.
Using a document camera and the handouts or a computer with the link ready, look at the "Happily Ever After," pages and discuss the real life consequences of the scenarios given.
Ask what can happen when we view violence? Why is it dangerous that media doesn't often show us the real consequences? Think back to the discussion about siblings, cousins, or themselves copying what they saw in media; do they ever watch something online (YouTube) or in movies and think, "I want to try that!" Have they ever seen something violent or aggressive in media and then been afraid or felt uncomfortable?
To wrap up the lesson have students write a sentence or two about what they learned or something that the lesson made them think about. Use these as exit slips for the library.