CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Popular Programming

Social Studies, Media Studies, Visual Arts
3 to 4 lessons
To demonstrate understanding of the elements of a media work that appeal to a given audience
Students create a broadcast to promote to women a CBC program from the years between 1945 to 1969.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring


If students have completed the activity Portraying Canadian Women in Television and Radio, they can review the types of television and radio broadcasts that portrayed Canadian women between 1945 and 1969.

If they have not completed the activity, they can do so now, or they can browse the topic A Woman's Place: Programming for the Modern Homemaker on the CBC Digital Archives website briefly to gather the information. Remind students that although media programming has changed, the programs from the time period were popular among Canadian women.  Ask students what motivates them to watch or listen to an upcoming television or radio broadcast. Discuss how upcoming television and radio broadcasts are promoted to viewers and listeners. Discuss ways in which audiences would have been informed about upcoming television or radio broadcasts between 1945 and 1969.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic A Woman's Place: Programming for the Modern Homemaker on the CBC Digital Archives website.  Acting as a CBC marketing person from the time period, students will choose any one of the programs depicted in the clips titled

"A woman's job, postwar", "Creamed eggs and ham", "Mrs. A's cold remedy", "Bringing up small fry", "Who's the happiest homemaker", "Eggs for Lent", "Betty Shakespeare", "Having a good foundation", and "Middle-aged and divorced in 1969".

and prepare a radio or television advertisement for it. The promotional material is directed at women and will be aired in advance of the program. It should inform the listener or viewer about the topic and content of the program, the date of the telecast, and reasons why it will be of interest to women. Students may tape record or video record their broadcast for later listening or viewing by the class, or can broadcast "live."

Revisit and Reflect

Have students play their promotional broadcasts for the rest of the class or perform them live. Encourage the audience to discuss which advertisements were effective and why and to tell which, if any, of the programs they would want to experience.

Discuss the topics and content of the programs and revisit whether or not television and radio broadcasts play a role in portraying and/or influencing societal values.


Over a one-week period, students can document current television and radio promotional material. They should note the type of program, its topic, content, and targeted audience. Ask: Are any programs specifically aimed at women? How can you tell? If programs are aimed at women, how are the topics different from those of 50 years ago?


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