On Tuesday I taught a Grade 7/8 Health lesson on body image during my field placement. I tried to just introduce the topic and then allow my students to examine it further on their own. I would of never of thought of trying this during one of my first visits but the more I’ve been visiting this class I have been learning the classroom management that I need in order to have my students succeed at activities such as these.
I began the lesson by showing a quick commercial produced by Dove:
After this video I split the class into groups of three and gave each group a marker and a sheet of poster paper. (I split them into groups myself beforehand in a way that combined different styles and personalities in order to make the groups as productive as possible. I strongly suggest this for any type of activity like this until you have developed the skills in your students that they need to succeed at this kind of thing.). I then had them list first all the ways that the model was altered in the commercial and then list other examples of unrealistic representations of beauty they have seen in media.
The groups then took turns presenting their posters. I thought this worked great especially in regards to the second question I posed them. A couple students had been to Disneyland recently and so this sparked a discussion about the amount of makeup that the Disney princesses had on at the park. All the students were engaged and seemed to be very interested in what some of their classmates had discovered during the activity. I definitely felt like this provided me a great chance to try some structured inquiry and also to examine some representations of beauty in media. I would definitely do this again and even had some of the students saying “great lesson” to each other as they left for recess.