Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media

Behind the Scenes


Celebrities — Middle School and High School

A celebrity is someone who would be recognized by a lot of people. Celebrities don the covers of magazines, are seen on TV and often are seen on commercials. Are celebrities always “good” people? Are celebrities role models? Should they be? An essential part of media literacy is determining the role of these influential people in the news.


Students will discuss what “celebrity” means and determine the attributes of a celebrity.

Students will write a letter to a “celebrity” asking about their response to celebrity status.


Standard Addressed:

Language Arts, Writing
Grade 7, Benchmark B, Listening and Viewing

3. Interpret the speaker's purpose in presentations and visual media (e.g., to inform, to entertain, to persuade).

4. Identify and explain the persuasive techniques (e.g., bandwagon, testimonial, glittering generalities, emotional word repetition and bait and switch) used in presentations and media messages.



Search tools (Internet, library, etc.)


  1. Discuss the definition of celebrity. Have the students list characteristics of celebrities.

  2. Read a short story to the students about a celebrity and discuss why this person has celebrity status.

  3. Place pictures of celebrities around the room of recognizable
    people, animals, cartoons, etc. and have the students name them and
    determine if they are celebrities. This brings up the idea of animals or
    cartoons being celebrities.

  4. First brainstorm then list the qualities it would take for someone to be a celebrity.

  5. Have the students make a list of celebrities that were famous for a short time and then disappeared.

  6. Discuss whether celebrities can have a “normal” life.

  7. Have the students select a celebrity and do some research on that person. They can use the library or the Web.

  8. Have the students find a current interview from a person with celebrity “status” or interview a celebrity. (This may be difficult to accomplish so the article might be a more feasible approach to take.)

  9. Write a paper discussing this person’s opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of celebrity status.



Have each group of students make a Celebrity of the Week poster that includes a picture and the reason for that person fame.



The following rubric will be used for evaluation.

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1
Organization Information in logical, interesting sequence which reader can follow. Student presents information in logical sequence which reader can follow. Reader has difficulty following work because student jumps around. Sequence of information is difficult to follow.
Content Knowledge Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required). Student is at ease with content, but fails to elaborate. Student is uncomfortable with content and is able to demonstrate basic concepts. Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject.
Grammar and Spelling Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors Presentation has no more than two misspellings and/or grammatical errors. Presentation has three misspellings and/or grammatical errors. Work has four or more spelling errors and/or grammatical errors.
Neatness Work is neatly done. Work has one or two areas that are sloppy. Work has three or four areas that are sloppy. Work is Illegible.
References Work displays the correct number of references, written correctly. Reference section was completed incorrectly Work does not have the appropriate number of required references. Work displays no references.
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