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The Power of Television

Context for this Lesson


FOCUS QUESTION: How does the government controlling our activities, specifically television-watching, affect different people? What are the positives? What are the negatives?

MATERIALS: Surface for writing – appropriate writing utensil Item to represent microphone during in role activity


Today we are going to talk about television. I want to brainstorm all the good and bad things about having a television. What are the good things? Why would we want to own a television? What are the bad things? Why would we not want to own a television? Make categories, positives and negatives, on the board and write down the students’ ideas.

SHARE: Keeping all of these things in mind, I want to invite you to come to an imaginary place with me today. This is an imaginary country far, far away. What might the name of this country be called? Take ideas, and use one for the rest of the lesson. In (insert name of country), the ruler has decided that it is a good idea to take away all of the televisions. It is no longer allowed to have a television. After the ruler decided this, a local radio talk show wanted to have some of the people most influenced by this decision on her talk to show to discuss how this affects them and what the positives and negatives are. Who are some people who might have come to participate in this talk show? Allow students to say their ideas out loud. I invite you to close your eyes. Imagine that you are one of these characters we just brainstormed, or maybe you are another character that is still affected by this change. How do you feel about this change? How has this affected you? Your family? Your job? When you feel you are ready with your character, look up at me. I will then step into role as the talk show host.



Teacher in role: Hello everyone out there in radio show land! I am Miss T and have I got a show for you today! We have some fabulous people here today from our great country of (insert country name here) and we are here to talk about the ruler recently taking away all of our televisions. We’re going to discuss with our guests here today how this new rule is affecting them, their families, their jobs, and their lives in general. We’ll discuss the positives and negatives of this rule. Before we begin, I’d like to see who all is here. I’m going to go around the circle and let all of the guests introduce themselves, giving us their name and job. Allow each student to share their character’s name and occupation. As you can hear, audience, we’ve got a fantastic group of people here today and I’m sure we’ll have a lively discussion on these issues. I’ll first open it up to anyone here and ask how they feel about this rule and how it’s affecting your life. Allow students to share feelings. Asking probing questions about what they say to get as much detail of their story as possible. Take notes on what they say so that you can bring these details into discussion later, if possible. Derive possible new questions from discussion. Possible Side-Coaching: The following information can be introduced during discussion: -The talk show host has heard that all local stores carrying televisions, DVD’s and DVD players, and all electronics associated with television will be shut down. -There is suddenly talk that if this rule is successful, video games, computers, and all other electronics will be taken as well.

Transition: Step out of role. Thank you so much for that great discussion. We are now our regular selves back in our classroom. Let’s think and talk about the situations we just experienced as our characters.


Describe: What did we just do? What were the problems we talked about?

Analyze: How did different characters feel about the changes being made? What were the good things of this change? What were the bad things?

Relate: How could a change like this affect a country? Financially? Population size – would people want to leave the country? Would this be a practical decision for Texas to make? Or America? Why or why not?

EVALUATE: Were students comfortable creating their characters and answering questions? Did I give them enough background information to do so? Did we discuss both sides to the problem and equally discuss both positives and negatives? Were students able to expand beyond the given information and bring in ideas from personal experience or imagination?