Media, Social Media & Body Image: Health Collaboration

This lesson on “Media, Social Media & Body Image” was taught to the entire 7th & 8th grade (4 sections per grade) in a Digital Essentials/Library/Health collaboration. It included a presentation with lecture, lesson plan, and worksheet for the students to complete. The lesson outcomes were to:

  • relay information about crossovers between traditional media, advertising, social media, and body image
  • give students critical skills needed to effectively analyze what they are seeing in advertisements, on traditional media, and on social media in terms of body image

It addresses several topics, and components, including:

  • an ice breaker to brainstorm initial thoughts on body image in relation to media
  • profit-based motives within social media
  • alterations of body types in media, and social media, and the effects of this on society & the self
  • the lack of body type diversity represented in media/social media, and the effects of this on society & the self
  • gender stereotypes as applied to media/social media, and the effects of this on society & the self
  • visual examples of body types as reflected in advertising campaigns, and social media posts
  • a definition of the traditional advertising model ‘AIDA’ and how it applies to social media
  • ties between what we are currently consuming in the media, advertising methods, and repercussions on the self and body image
  • instructions for critically analyzing media, and social media items in terms of body image, and advertising
  • a worksheet & activity in which students are asked to reflect on a piece of media, and complete worksheet with questions around the media type, as well as its relation to body image

This lesson slideshow provides a critical analysis addressing the topic of media, and social media as it relates to body image. The slides guided a lecture, and discussion that informed a handout the students completed at the end of the lesson. The handout questions corresponded to Slides 16-20, which contained images from traditional media, and social media that the students analyzed to answer the questions on. It was filled out in small groups, and asked students to use critical skills to analyze different types of media in a variety of formats as relating to body image. There was a short shareout at the end of class.

This lesson was implemented during the 2021-2022 school year.

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