CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Analyzing Audience Response

Media Studies, English Language Arts
1 to 2 lessons
To understand audience behaviour
Students examine the Canadian film audience and explain how the audience characteristics can influence how audiences interpret and enjoy media.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Begin by asking students what expectations they bring to a Canadian film. Ask them if they believe that Canadians in general are not interested in Canadian films, and if they are not, why aren't they? Ask: How do you and your friends decide what films to see?

Outline the Opportunity

Students will individually explore the topic Bright Lights, Political Fights: The Canadian Film Industry on the CBC Digital Archives website in thirty minutes, choosing the sections they wish to visit and recording the name of each section they visit and the amount of time they spent at each one. Have them record their answers to the following questions: Does the Canadian public seem to be interested in Canadian films? Why or why not? Then, working in small groups, students discuss and compare their answers.

Revisit and Reflect

Ask students how they, as an audience, brought their own preconceived notions to this site and how those notions influenced their choices and impressions of the sections they visited. Then ask students to write a few paragraphs in their notebooks to explain how the prejudices or preconceived notions of audiences can influence how audiences interpret and enjoy media.


Ask students to choose a Canadian film or television program they have never previously watched and record their expectations for this particular work before viewing it. Have them view it and then record their response. Ask them if their views changed, and, if so, how. Then ask them to brainstorm ways of making the Canadian public more receptive to Canadian films.

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