All About Animals: Secondary Teachers: Lesson Plan 1: The Media Machine

 

How does this fit into the National Curriculum? Pupils should be taught: the importance of a free press and the media’s role in society in providing information and effecting opinion (1g); to express, justify and defend orally and in writing a personal opinion about topical, political, moral, social or cultural issues, problems and events (2b).

Teachers’ Note: This is a two-part lesson with an oral component preceding a written one. Split the class into small groups and ask them to discuss the quotation that you will read to them or write on the board. Ask them to analyse the statement, discover whether they agree with it and discuss one of the following issues in relation to the quotation.

As a written component they are to complete an essay answering the question: what role do the media play in effecting people’s views on animal issues?

Edward S. Herman is a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and a social commentator. This is what he says about the media:

“Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on ‘normalisation’…It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public.”

In your group discuss:

  • What this statement means
  • Whether you agree with it as a principle
  • Whether you agree with it in relation to certain animal issues including factory farming, slaughtering animals for meat, zoos, fur farming and animal experimentation.

Once you have discussed this issue, listened to others’ views and formulated your own, write an essay answering the question: what role do the media play in effecting people’s views on animal issues?