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Lesson | 50 - 60 Minutes

Shifting the Frame


Students will visually map portrayals of their communities in the news media. The result will be a graphic organizer of unique perspectives and story ideas. Click on the Activities Tab to complete the lesson.

Central Questions

  • What communities do you belong to and why?
  • How are communities portrayed in the news media?

Learning Outcomes

  • Establish communities that students are a part of
  • Understand how communities are represented and misrepresented in the news media
  • Recognize the value of student voices

When Would You Use This Lesson?

  • In a unit on media literacy to analyze how media narratives are constructed
  • As prep for student story pitches in journalism, digital media, and film classes
  • As a discussion about community and representation in the news media

Media Literacy Connections

Students start to critically think about news media and analyze how media narratives are constructed and the consequences of missing voices.

Civics Connections

Students begin to develop an understanding of how different aspects of communities are covered in the news media. Visually mapping communities that students care about helps them make connections to their own civic identity and understand how different communities see and don’t see each other. Students will also consider the differences between local and national communities they might belong to.


Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.

Source: NAMLE

News Media

All forms of media created with the purpose of informing the public and delivering news through specific mediums such as radio and broadcast stations, digital news organizations and others.


​​A subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

The Framing Effect

In news media, when storytelling presents a “frame” or window into important events or topics.


A simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group; a set form or convention



The condition of having or being composed of differing elements. Especially in the context of the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization

Source: Merriam Webster


The act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)

Source: Merriam Webster


Awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation or intuitive cognition. A capacity for comprehension and understanding.

Source: Merriam Webster


The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Describe the diversity and variety of functions within the Journalism & Broadcasting Career Pathway.

Analyze the lifestyle implications and physical demands required in the arts, audio/visual technology and communications workplace.

Reading - Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Language - Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Digital Citizenship

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. (ISTE)

Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others. (ISTE)

Analyze the legal and ethical responsibilities required in the arts, audio/visual technology and communications workplace.

Writing - Text Types and Purposes

Global Collaborator

Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally. (ISTE)

Reading - Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Speaking and Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration

Language - Knowledge of Language




Stereotypes and Misconceptions


Media Literacy






Post It Notes

White board, chalkboard or other visual board




Online Worksheet


Estimated Time

50 - 60 Minutes