Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media

Behind the Scenes


The Power of the Image — Middle School and High School

Images are everywhere! A person’s reaction to an image shown on television or in print can cause a person to buy a certain item or make him wary of an object or event. Television, in general, and the television news, in particular, strives to select both people and settings that match society’s standards of beauty so that viewers tune in to their show. As consumers we have to be aware that the images we are seeing have some impact on our perception.


Students will discuss the power of the image.

Students will write a paper about their perceptions of the power of imagery.


Standard Addressed:

Technology, Communication
Grade 8, Benchmark B, Listening and Viewing

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



Catalogues, magazines, paper, glue, scissors



  1. Discuss the student’s perception of pretty, handsome, nerd, geek, jock, rugged, biker, etc.

  2. Discuss if a person’s image tells you anything about the person.

  3. Discuss what qualities a person might possess that are more important than looks.

  4. Have students bring in a teen magazine or fan magazine that shows a variety of pictures of their favorite performer.

  5. Display some of these photos and discuss which images are flattering to the person and which are not. Try to determine why this is true.

  6. Discuss what impact the images of these people actually has on their lives and on how they feel about themselves.

  7. Have the students write a one-page paper about the power of mass media images and the effect of these images on them.



Invite a model or someone in the “beauty” business to speak to your class about the power of the image.



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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