Honors Projects


Leah OliverFollow


The American public education system has been lagging behind other developed nations in its implementation of media literacy curricula throughout all grade levels. As mass media outlets (including television, film, magazines, advertisements, and video games) become more prevalent in our society, the accompanying job market and the everyday use of electronic media platforms require high school and college graduates to have at least a basic understanding of how media can be used to disseminate information and to buy and sell products. Moreover, research studies in the field suggest that exposure to popular culture mass media can greatly influence teens’ self-esteem, body image, and behaviors. Learning critical thinking skills and applying these skills to different media messages is shown to help decrease some of these undesirable implications for youth. I argue that media literacy curricula should be incorporated into more American public school districts and that individual educators need to spearhead the movement. I then offer a sample media literacy curriculum that focuses specifically on representations of gender (a continuum of masculinity and femininity) in order to teach critical thinking skills necessary for the deconstruction of media messages.


Adolescent Young Adult


Integrated Language Arts Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sarah Rainey

First Advisor Department

Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Second Advisor

Dr. Joanna Weaver

Second Advisor Department

School of Teaching and Learning

Third Advisor

Dr. Lori Liggett

Third Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2016

4990 Block Plans New.docx (175 kB)
Block Lesson Plans

Full Lesson Plans.pdf (3779 kB)
Daily Lesson Plans

Full Supplemental Materials.pdf (6515 kB)
Supplemental Materials