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Media and retouching (ages 11-13)

Good Skin Knowledge lesson plan

Time: 45 min


Students will be able to:

  • Discuss media and the use of retouching

  • Recognize that the images seen in magazines do not always reflect reality



1.    During Introduction to New Material, assess students’ reaction to the video as well as their list of changes made to the image, to see if they were able to understand the differences between the two images as well as develop thoughtful ideas about the topic of self-esteem and media. 2.    During the Guided Practice, listen to class discussion to see if students are able to develop their ideas about skin, beauty, and media through sharing their thoughts and opinions.


3-5 minutes

  • Ask students if they read any magazines. What do the ads usually portray? What do the models usually look like? Their skin?

  • Tell students that they are going to learn the secret to their beautiful skin today.

Introduction to new material

15-20 minutes

Materials: Computer and projector, “Dodge and Burn” YouTube video, paper, pencils

  • Explain they are going to watch a video that reveals one of the secrets to beautiful skin the models have in magazines.

  • Play “Dodge and Burn” YouTube video.

  • After video is “over,” ask students for their immediate reactions.

  • Watch the video again, but this time s/he wants them to make a list of all the different things that have changed in the image.

  • Play “Dodge and Burn” YouTube video again.

  • Ask students to list some of the things they wrote on their papers.

  • Ask follow-up questions:

    • Do the images we see in magazines and on commercials portray reality?

    • How do they think this affects teens?

    • If you saw the original image in a magazine, would they have noticed all the things that were changed?

Guided practice

15 minutes

Materials: Paper, pencils

  • Pass out paper or tells students to take out notebooks.

  • Explain the next exercise:

    • Give students a theme or question.

    • Students will write down what first comes to mind on their papers. No thinking. Just write what comes to mind first. They will have a minute for each question (Use a stopwatch or clock for this). They should be writing the whole time. What they write can be sentences, words—whatever comes to their minds first.

  • Begin:

    • What is beauty?

    • How are teens with acne/pimples treated?

    • What’s the first thing you think when you get a pimple? If you have never gotten a pimple, how do you feel knowing you are probably going to start getting them soon?

    • How do models in magazines and commercials affect teens?

    • What makes a good person?

  • After the exercise, ask students to take a minute to look over their answers.

  • Go through each question and asks for volunteers to share what they wrote and explain why they wrote that.

  • If students are unresponsive, share your ideas on the question to get the discussion started.

  • Point out that beauty does not always have to be skin deep. What other ways people can define beauty?

Independent practice

15 minutes

Materials: Paper, pencils/pens, envelopes, plastic/paper grocery bag

  • Tell students they are going to take five minutes to write a reflection. They should make sure NOT to put their names on it. Have they ever bullied anyone because of their skin? The way they looked? What are the things that make them feel not beautiful or handsome? Do they feel bad when they look at their skin? Why? Do they think their skin is too rough? Too dark? Too pale? Did magazines ever make them feel like they weren’t beautiful?

  • After the activity is over, tell students to take their paper and crumple it up. They are going to take these negative feelings and get rid of them.

  • Go around with a bag and has each student throw their paper in the bag. IMPORTANT: Make sure to throw the papers away from the classroom so other students cannot find and look at them after class is over.

  • After all the paper is tossed, take all that negative energy and fill it up with positive energy. Tell students to take out another piece of paper and answer these three questions for the next five minutes:

    • Why am I beautiful?

    • What makes me a good person?

    • What did I learn today?

  • After about five minutes, hand out envelopes and tells them to put their reflections in the envelope. When they get that huge pimple that makes them want to hide, when they feel like they will never look like the models in magazines, or when they just need to feel good, they should open this envelope to remind themselves.

  • Students put reflections in envelopes and seal them.


5 minutes

Materials: Stickers (optional)

  • Ask students some closing questions:

    • “Who can get acne?” “Does it have to do with being dirty?”

    • “What are symptoms of acne?”

  • Give student stickers for when they answer correctly.