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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Cammy Coughlin (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 6
Lesson 2: Newspapers and Stereotyping
Time: 80 minutes or 2 x 40 minutes

Topic: First Nations stereotyping in newspapers.

Rationale: First Nations people are stereotyped by the media, books and movies. This curriculum will promote an understanding of First Nations among all students. It will also contribute to Aboriginal students' sense of belonging in the public school system.

Materials and Resources

  • An adequate supply of newspaper resources that have been collected over a few weeks - local newspaper(s), Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Province, etc. [It would be a good idea if the teacher collected her own articles that depict First Nations people, just in case the students are not successful finding their own.]
  • felt pens
  • six dictionaries
  • photocopier
  • Lesson 2: Newspaper Stereotypes worksheet
  • Prepare 6 charts with the following written statements.
    (Under each heading should read the words: IDEAS and farther down DEFINITION
    1. Does the press have a lot of power?
    2. What things describe "Mass Media"?
    3. What do you know about stereotyping and its effect on people or groups?
    4. How would you know if a newspaper article is biased?
    5. Do news stories or "Letters to the Editor" influence you?
    6. Do you think it is good to have more than one newspaper in one area? Why?

Main concepts

  • The students will understand that newspaper articles may influence people (society) to think a certain way (stereotype) about First Nations people.
  • Students may find commonalties of newspaper articles written locally, regionally and provincially.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and clarify a problem, issue or inquiry
  • Research information using print, non-print and electronic resources
  • Evaluate the credibility and reliability of various sources
  • Evaluate mass media stereotypes of cultural groups


Where you label certain people, groups, or things in a certain way. It may be good or bad. You have already formed your impression of who that person, or group is, perhaps without ever meeting them.
Unfavorable treatment based on your prejudices against another person, group or thing. It may be because of race, gender, age, etc.
A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
An opinion that has been formed beforehand or before all the facts are known.

Planned Learning Activity

  • Let the class know that today we are going to be talking about how the mass media can influence stereotyping of certain people, and groups in society
  • Ask students to remind the class of which persons or groups were identified last class as being stereotyped or discriminated against?
  • Teacher is to divide class into 6 groups (this activity is using the carousel approach)
  • Taking a dictionary and felt pens, the group is to meet at a designated chart posted around the classroom
  • Teacher could designate a recorder and time keeper for each group


  • Students are to look up the underlined word in the statement, and clearly write down the definition from the dictionary. Students then brainstorm ideas and thoughts about how this definition fits the statement from their experience with newspapers. The teacher should allow the following time allotments for the carousel activity: 1st chart: 5 minutes, 2nd chart: 4 minutes, 3rd chart: 3 minutes, 4th - 6th chart, 2 minutes each
  • Students may volunteer, or you can assign a student to share the information from the last chart they visited
  • Discuss and share how influential the press can be for readers
  • Hand out a variety of newspapers to each group
  • Challenge students to find articles, or letters to the editor, on any news depicting First Nations people in British Columbia or Canada. Note to teachers: in only a two week time span, I collected over eight articles that depicted Aboriginal people in a negative way: setting up blockades, not caring about their children, fighting for their rights, two oppositional letters, etc.
  • Have students share their articles and discuss what is being said in each one
  • How can newspaper articles influence people to think a certain way about First Nations people? Are all Aboriginal people this way? How can mass media stereotyping effect First Nations people now and or in the future?
  • In turn, how could First Nations people feel about the (generally) white people who write the letters and articles? How can they voice their own opinions and will they be easily heard?
  • Collect some articles and photocopy them so that each student has one article


  • For homework, students are to find at least one other article that somehow describes a situation involving Aboriginal people (negative or positive). Suggest that if students have access to the internet, they can look up a news article in this manner (see Resource section)
  • Their completed homework should include the following for each of the 2 articles: (see attached worksheet)
    1. the article
    2. a brief summary of the articles including the 5 - W's: who, what, where, why and when
    3. a statement as to how the article (or letter) influenced how the student felt about the person(s) involved
  • (Please see the evaluation sheet for this assignment)
  • Ask students what they think they will find when researching?


  • Lesson 2: Newspaper Stereotypes worksheet


  • For the gifted/enriched students: Challenge students to find articles on other races or cultures where their rights are being violate or where stereotypes lead to discrimination. Students may also write their own article or letter to the editor defending Native people, or a report explaining how mass media stereotypes can lead to society being influenced. Have the students research who the owners are of the local, regional and national newspapers of British Columbia or other Canadian newspapers. They could do the same for local and provincial news programs on television as well.
  • For learning disabled students: Have the students work with another student who can sum up the article in easy-to-understand language. Another idea would be to have the student write their own article where they can share their understanding of how unfair it is to judge a whole group of people without getting to know who they are.

Other Integration Opportunities
The writing activity in this lesson also meet other grade six learning outcomes:
Language Arts Learning Outcomes

  • organize details/information in chart form
  • identify and represent main ideas
  • determine correct meaning using a dictionary
  • use information they have read/heard to extend their thinking
  • demonstrate their abilities to communicate

Informational Technology Learning Outcomes

  • compare their opinions with the information
  • describe what is known about topics/issues

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available
Students can research news articles through their home computer if they have the internet:

Newspaper Article Worksheet

Newspaper Stereotype Homework Assignment

Please submit the two newspaper articles that you have summarised along with your assignment.

State clearly how the article or letter has influenced how you feel about the person(s) involved.

Article 1
Please address the following (the 5 W's):

  • Who is the article about?
  • What is happening in the story?
  • Where did the events take place?
  • Why did the incident occur?
  • When did it occur?

Article 2
Please address the following (the 5 W's):

  • Who is the article about?
  • What is happening in the story?
  • Where did the events take place?
  • Why did the incident occur?
  • When did it occur?

Total marks: 48

Summative Criteria

Criteria Ratings Comments
Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas about the topic (through interaction and activities) 4 3 2 1  
Examples, ideas, and detail were offered as solutions to this problem, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Student considers individual rights and responsibilities; is aware of his/her obligation to create change for such issues as stereotyping 4 3 2 1  
Is able to appreciate another perspective and value its worth 4 3 2 1  
Interesting and relevant information is included in the worksheet entry (concrete examples are given) 4 3 2 1  
Worksheet results demonstrate a clear understanding of concepts studied 4 3 2 1  
Worksheet results were accurate and easy to follow 4 3 2 1  
Group participation and cooperation 4 3 2 1  


Newspaper Home Work Assignment
Criteria Ratings Comments
Student has submitted two newspaper articles and attached to assignment 4 3 2 1  
Article 1:
Student has addressed the following by including the 5 - W's:
who is the article about? 4 3 2 1  
what is happening in the story? 4 3 2 1  
when did it occur? 4 3 2 1  
where did the event take place? 4 3 2 1  
why did it occur? (what was the problem?) 4 3 2 1  
Article 2:
Student has addressed the following by including the 5 - W's:
who is the article about? 4 3 2 1  
what is happening in the story? 4 3 2 1  
when did it occur? 4 3 2 1  
where did the event take place? 4 3 2 1  
why did it occur? (what was the problem?) 4 3 2 1  
Student has effectively stated how the article or (letter) has influenced how he/she felt about the person(s) involved 4 3 2 1