Making Meaning from the Media

English 9
Non Fiction Unit
How the Media Makes Meaning
What is THE MEDIA?
Where Bias Begins
Stereotypes and Bias
Where they come from
Take a Stand
Ten People You admire on TV
Blink Excerpt
Youtube video
Choice Articles:
 Stereotypes Bite Back
 Fair Play? Video Game
Makers Look to Zap Racial
 Snow Whitey: Stereotyping
the Magic Kingdom
 Convenient Villains
Specific examples to
illustrate how the culture
creates and perpetuates
Disney clips
Who is the target?
Can young kids evaluate the
information effectively?
Growing Up in a World Rated R
Is Reality TV Making You Stupid? How does TV shape our
identities? Does reality TV
have a different impact than
other TV shows?
Advertising and Children
Act Like a Man/Be Ladylike
stereotype generator
Create a poster to present to
the class
List Reality TV Shows—
their premise? What do we
How corporations use
advertising to influence
Song Analysis
What is the song about?
What does the song say about
the topic?
How are males portrayed?
How are females portrayed?
What stereotypes are in the
song? What’s the message?
Does the message perpetuate
View 30 Days and compare to
reality shows…make a chart.
Merchants of Cool
NPR Article on Fast Food
English 9
Non Fiction Unit
Our next unit is a non-fiction unit on the Media. There is no question that the media shapes the
knowledge and ideas of our culture, so we will explore how the media makes meaning, how this
meaning informs our culture, and how our individual perspectives and identities are shaped by the
media. Many of the topics we discuss will be sensitive and controversial. I pledge to you to always
respect your ideas, values, and beliefs, and I ask that you extend the same respect to your
classmate. Our job here is not to change someone’s mind or to make people see the world the way
we see it; our job is to think critically—about the media, the messages, the meaning—and to listen
to other’s ideas and perspectives. The final thing I ask you to do is to approach this unit with an
open mind and to critically reflect on how the media affects your life.
Media Log
How Much time do you spend
Look for stereotypical portrayals of ideas and people; race,
class, gender, love, relationships, family, heroes. Also
consider who is missing.
Watching TV
Listening to Music
Playing Video Games
On the Computer
In the media:
African Americans are athletes, musicians, or criminals.
Hispanics are migrant workers or gangsters.
Gays and lesbians do not exist.
Asian Americans are really smart and nerdy with bad accents.
Teenage girls are portrayed as superficial and ditzy—only interested in shopping, boys, make-up,
and clothes.
Teenage boys are portrayed as strong and athletic.
Women are portrayed as equals to men.
Women are thinner and prettier than women in real life.
Men are stronger and more handsome than men in real life.
Men should be in charge.
Men are obsessed with sex.
Poor people are lazy.
English 9
Non Fiction Unit