Follow us on:

Years 3 – 4
Lesson 8: Media Influences

Everyone, Everyday Program logo large


  1. Lesson Overview
  2. Australian Curriculum Links
  3. Lesson Plan: Suggested Sequence of Learning Experiences

Downloadable Reference Materials

1. Lesson Overview

Length of Lesson

Prior Knowledge (What Should the Teacher Have Already Covered)

Resources Required

Key Concepts

Learning Outcomes

HPE Subject Area Years 3 and 4

General Capabilities by the End of Year 4 (Level 3)

Personal and Social Capability
Ethical Understanding
Intercultural Understanding

Assessable moments: As students undertake the learning experiences described in the lesson, take note of a range of assessable moments to provide information about student achievement. Ongoing assessment will provide evidence of the extent to which students achieve the identified Australian Curriculum links. Assessable moments are linked to learning outcomes and are identified by the following identifier: assessable moments tickLO (insert number)

3. Lesson Plan: Suggested Sequence of Learning Experiences

Format Lesson Plan: Suggested Sequence of Learning Experiences
Intro 1 mins

Teacher’s notes: The content of this lesson is based on the movie ‘Finding Nemo’. A preview of the movie (or parts of the movie) is required before delivering this lesson. You can pause the movie throughout to discuss examples of inclusion, diversity, taking risks, forming friendships, acknowledging similarities and differences, using abilities, being accepting etc.

State the learning intention: In the previous lesson, we started to look at the power of language and the importance of using respectful language so that people feel welcome and included in a community. Today we are going to further explore how language and images are used to portray disability in the media, with a focus on the film industry. We will be reviewing the movie, ‘Finding Nemo’ and drawing conclusions about the portrayal of disability reflected in the movie.

Body 34 mins

Activity 1: Character descriptions

Lesson 8 Activity 1 pdf File (108 kb)
Lesson 8 Activity 1 word File (251 kb)
Lesson 8 Activity 1 (Teacher’s version) pdf File (114 kb)
Lesson 8 Activity 1 (Teacher’s version) word File (237 kb)

Establish context: Communities Every day the words you hear and read and the images you see impact on your thoughts and feelings. Also, the words you use and the way you say and write words impact on thoughts and feelings of the people around you. This is why language is very powerful in forming opinions, beliefs and attitudes. Language can make an inclusive community where everyone is treated with respect, or create a community that excludes people and does not respect the rights of individuals.

assessable moments tickLO1 Class discussion: Can you think of examples when words and/or images influence what we think and believe? If so, how? E.g. Radio, television, movies, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, social media, teachers, parents, friends, religious leaders, political leaders. How? – through persuasive language, using fear and guilt campaigns, targeting our vulnerabilities, following the crowd and jumping on the band wagon etc.)

Main point to highlight:

  • The words we hear and the images we see impact on our attitudes and opinions.

The media is a powerful influence on shaping our attitudes towards people with disability. There are also many examples in literature that portray people with disability as a burden on society or as someone who should not be seen or heard. For example, the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame where Quasimodo, a person with a physical abnormality, was told by his father that he was a monster and would be rejected by the outside world. This gives the viewers images and perceptions of disability as being frightening, helpless, isolating, different, hidden and pitiful.

Main point to highlight:

  • The media is a powerful influence on shaping people’s attitudes towards people with disability.

We are now going to look at a movie that you are familiar with – ‘Finding Nemo’. We will examine the characters in the movie and make decisions about whether the portrayal of disability is positive or negative in this film.

assessable moments tickLO2 Refer to lesson 8 handout and teachers notes. Students complete a character review and record responses on the lesson handout provided.

Teacher’s notes: a completed exemplar of the character review is provided for teacher reference.

Class discussion: Discuss responses to handout.

25 mins

Activity 2: Recall, Recount, Respond

Lesson 8 Activity 2 pdf File (45.7 kb)
Lesson 8 Activity 2 word File (41.5 kb)

assessable moments tickLO1, LO2 Use the strategy of Recall, Recount and Respond to reflect on the key messages from the film. Refer to the list of key messages, or get students to develop their own list. (Copies of list on page 8 of lesson plan)

Teacher’s notes: You do not have to get through all of these key messages – just as many as time permits. This activity provides an opportunity to differentiate – for those who need structure – provide the key messages. For those who can identify key messages themselves, get them to come up with their own list.

Key Messages:

  • If we put the person first (or fish!), not the disability, then this is what we will see.
  • Everyone has different abilities that make some things easier and some things harder.
  • When we accept and acknowledge differences, we create an inclusive community.
  • Just because someone has a disability does not mean they are not brave and cannot overcome obstacles.
  • Living with a disability involves taking risks.
  • Including people with disability involves taking risks.
  • The experience of the person with disability is strongly influenced by the attitudes and reactions of the people they come into contact with.
  • Our lives are enriched when we live peacefully in an inclusive, diverse society.
  • If you have a positive attitude, you can overcome obstacles and achieve great things.
  • If we focus on the things we can do instead of the things we cannot do, we create opportunities, not barriers.

Step 1: Recall: recall scenes (or a scene) in the movie that captures a key message or point of view from the movie. Record in your workbook.

Step 2: Recount: discuss the key message or point of view with your partner and expand on your ideas – add more examples from the film.

Step 3: Respond: discuss the key message with the class (or larger group)

Repeat this activity if time permits to further explore key messages from the film.

Main point to highlight:

  • The film portrayed disability positively and made disability unnoticeable, and just a part of human diversity.
Conclusion and Reflection 5 mins

assessable moments tickLO1, LO2, Check for understanding:

Get the students to complete their entry for the Action Plan for the L: Language theme. Also complete the class entry for the Action Plan chart.

Back to year 3 – 4 Unit of Work