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TeachNet Disseminator Grant      << Back to all Grant Winners

Stereotypes in the Media: Newspapers, and Magazines

Subject: Social Studies, ELA, Technology

Grade Level: 9-12

Materials: LCD projector, computers with Internet access, newspaper photographs from varied points of view, cameras, scanner, paper handouts, a graphic and/or word program

About: This is a unit that asks students to deconstruct and construct photographs and text in the news. Through an analysis of photographs and their accompanying headlines, students learn how images and text are consciously constructed to send a particular message or point of view that often creates a bias. They learn that the bombardment of images and carefully scripted text, continuously portrayed in the same manner, can create stereotypes that don’t necessarily reflect the true nature of the subject. Students construct their own biased headlines with images.

The students construct their own newspaper headline with a bias and/or stereotype using a Word program. They address the image/images they choose as well as the text employed. Design should also be considered as an avenue to influence and manipulate the reader. As a final step, the students create a class wiki to post their individual projects with an explanation of what they did in the process and why they did it.

With the preponderance of media in our lives, it is important to cipher through opinion and bias when constructing thoughts and ideas on any subject. This unit helps students understand the subtle ways media can influnce our opinions. Through the use of the Internet and daily publications, students are asked to deconstruct packaged presentation and analyze the content. This gives them the tools to understand bias and how it can influence the readers understanding of information.

 Objectives
Students will learn that photographs can reflect a point of view.
Students will understand that different photographic sources of the same subject may vary according to the point of view of the presenting media.
Students will construct a image with a text headlines that displays a stereotype using the same elements a newspaper or magazine uses to construct images.
Students will search the Internet for images and, with Microsoft Word, construct the front page of a newspaper or magazine presenting a bias or stereotype.
Students will identify a point of view or bias based on the language accompanying an image.

Websites
Media stereotyping and bias introduction
http://media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/index.cfm
Examples of sterotyping in the media
http://media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/index.cfm
What is a stereotype?
http://media-awareness.ca/english/special_initiatives/toolkit/stereotypes/what_are_stereotypes.cfm
Talking to kids about racial stereotypes
http://media-awareness.ca/english/resources/tip_sheets/racial_tip.cfm
Five Essential Questions of Media Literacy (PDF)
http://medialit.org/reading_room/pdf/5KQ_KGCClist_notchart.pdf
An excellent site to create a class wiki
www.pbwiki.com

Standards
1) Language for Information and Understanding

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.

2) Language for Literary Response and Expression

Students will read and listen to oral, written, and electronically produced texts and performances from American and world literature; relate texts and performances to their own lives; and develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent. As speakers and writers, students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for self-expression and artistic creation.

3) Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for critical analysis and evaluation. As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to present, from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.

4)Language for Social Interaction

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

9-12
ELA
1) Technology

Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.

2) Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.

3) Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

4) Analysis, Inquiry, and Design

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

9-12
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
1) History of the United States and New York

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.

2) Economics

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the United States and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and nonmarket mechanisms.

3) Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

9-12
Social Studies

Day 1: Stereotypes in the Media: Introduction
Objectives
Students learn that newspapers can reflect a point of view through the choice of image and text.
Creation of a KWL chart to be prominently displayed in the classroom.
Materials
LCD projector, computer and Internet connection, headlines from newspapers and electronic news sources, large chart paper
Procedures
Ask the students what they know about the words "stereotype" and "bias". Record their responses on a large class KWL chart.
Introduce the terms stereotype and bias through the above website resources.
Show examples from a PowerPoint presentation created from sources found in the above websites and other sources. Ask the students to look for ways bias and stereotype appear in the examples.
Ask the class what they would like to know in addition to what you have already discussed. Record the responses on your class KWL chart.
Homework
Over a period of a week, have students collect the front pages of various newspapers and magaszines. Ask them to find similar stories that differ in the presentation. Have them identify the way words and images are used to influence the reader on conscious and unconscious levels.
Assessment
Class observation, student responses

Day 2: Stereotypes in the Media: Deconstruction
Objectives
Understand that different photographic sources of the same subject may vary according to the point of view of the presenting media.
Know the ways images and words are used to influence the reader.
Collaboration on found information.
Materials
Highlighters, bulletin boards
Procedures
Using the website examples, repeat the ways text and images in information can present stereotype and/or bias.
Give students some time to organize their homework assignment for class presentation. With markers have the students highlight the biased words and images.
Students present the weeks homework revealing the way text and images can influence readers.
Place the marked images around the classroom.
Homework
Students are asked to create a rough-draft front-page headline simulating an newspaper or magazine that includes a biased image and text.
Assessment
Homework assignment is observed when presented. Student presentation is evaluated.

Day 3: Stereotypes in the Media: Construction
Objectives
Students present their rough drafts from the homework assignment.
Construct a word document that simulates a newspaper or magazine using text and image to display a stereotype and/or bias.
Materials
Computers with a Word program, LCD projector, homework assignment used as a resource
Procedures
Have the students create a Word document that simulates a magazine or newspaper headline. Images can be constructed from research on the Internet. Attention should be paid to using text and images to influence a reader regarding bias and/or stereotype.
Homework
Students are asked to refine their news project.
Assessment
Observing student documents and presentations of homework

Day 4: Stereotypes in the Media: Construction
Objectives
Students will search the Internet for images, using a Word program they construct the front page of a newspaper or magazine. They are told the finished project must reflect bias and stereotype.
Materials
Procedures
Continue constructing a Word document that simulates a newspaper or magazine using text and image to display a stereotype and/or bias.
Homework
Prepare for an electronic presentation of the projects
Assessment

Day 5: Stereotypes in the Media: Presentation
Objectives
Students will present a newspaper or magazine article that demonstrates bias and/or stereotypes.
Class will discuss, analyze, and deconstruct individual presentations using a rubric.
Students will print their projects.
Students will finish the L on the KWL chart.
Materials
Computers with Internet connection, LCD projector, rubric created for class assessment exercise
Procedures
Students are given a rubric designed for evaluating each presentation.
Students present their individual projects electronically.
Class discussion throughout the period.
Create a class wiki at pbwiki.com. Upload the finished projects for Internet access.
Homework
Have the students write a reflection of their experience including an explanation of what they created and why. These reflections are to be posted on their individual pages in the class wiki.
Assessment
Evaluation of student presentations. Individual student evaluations from the rubric each filled out during each presentation.

Phillip Seymour

pseymour@schools.nyc.gov

Louis D. Brandeis High School
145 West 84th Street
New York, NY 10024

Phillip Seymour is a nationally recognized educational trainer and consultant on visual perception and arts/media curriculum integration. He teaches technology and media integration with the New York City Department of Education and educational arts integration at New York University.

 

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