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Representations of Women in Politics in Modern Media

Hillary Clinton
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Ellie Hessler & Jessica Reynolds
Topic: 
How are women in politics represented in the media?
Teaching Area: 
Social Studies
Standards: 
Standard 19; ONLS 8.19; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.2
Grade Level: 
8th Grade
Teaching Level: 
Middle Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan deals with the representation of women in the media, specifically looking at how women are represented in current American politics. The Origins article that we selected dealt with representations of women in politics through various media formats over time. The article compared representations of women who have been major political figures before Hillary Clinton. This article highlights the accomplishments of female political leaders and then discusses the powerful roles that women play in television shows. It raises the question: Why are women only represented as presidents in television shows and not in reality? Our lesson plan does not include a portion for the students to read the article themselves, but the article inspired the activities in our lesson plan. For instance, our opening word association activity was inspired by the article because of the way it discusses the representation of women in the media. After the word association activity, students work in groups to analyze an image, either a political cartoon or ad, and respond to guiding questions that support their analysis of the image. The purpose of this activity is for students to analyze and understand the affects that the media, images, and messages can have on citizens. Students must determine who the intended audience of the image is, what message the image is trying to send about women in politics, whether the image is projecting a positive or negative perspective on the candidate, and whether or not the image is effective in persuading public opinion. Students work together to answer these questions in groups and then each group shares their ideas during the whole class discussion. At the end of class, students will respond to two questions on an exit ticket that asks them to assess how the media can influence citizens’ opinions and how this might affect decision making.

Instructional Strategies:

Small Group Work: Image Analysis

Whole Class Discussion 

Lesson Materials:

Key Words: 
Media, Women, Influence