Authored by: Jeanette Andrade
Authored on: May 23, 2016 5:49 PM
Subject: Video Game Summary and Lesson Plan

I have played and researched the following games: World of War Craft, Tomb Raider and Call of Duty. The portrayal of women as over sexualized gaming characters was disturbing. It leads one to wonder the effects of the way girls view themselves in regards to rape and their own bodies. For decades society has debated the effects of violence on young men and boys, but we should take a closer look at the effects the portrayal of women in these games have on society. Studies have shown for a long time that the over sexualization of women has negative impact on the female psyche.  According to a publication on Oct. 11 in a Stanford studycomputers and Human Behavior it stated that girls were more likely to accept what’s called “rape myth”,  for example the idea that the woman is in some way to blame for being raped. Playing these games made me realize than even though women are being represented and girls are playing on an even plain with their male counterparts it is not in a positive light.  

For example playing Lara Croft according to time magazine…” the wasp-waisted, impossibly large-breasted protagonist in the Tomb Raider video-game series who fights bad guys in an ever-so-practical tight tank top and short shorts  might be worse than watching Miley Cyrus twerking in a bikini”. Researchers are now studying a singularity known as the “Proteus effect in which an individual’s behavior conforms to their digital identity.”  Research has shown that game playing through avatars can affect real life roles, attitude, morals and behavior. Considering the amount of time some individuals spend playing these games the possibility of adverse effects to society can be staggering. 

In all of these games women are inappropriately dressed for the activity they are participating in. Their male counterparts are dressed and depicted in more realistic views, aside from the violent tendencies.  The women wear short shorts, tight tank tops and loin cloths with studded brazier tops. In one game they do not hold the same ranking as men. In a fourth game that I researched called Grand Theft Auto in its fifth and current version the gamer cannot play as a girl, but there are prostitutes you can maim and kill for points. Their body proportions are unhealthy and unrealistic.  I went into this assignment looking to see how women were depicted and the effects of that depiction has on society towards women and found out the data I collected and the research I encountered was higher than I expected. There were also psychiatric studies on the matter. After discovering all this information it is no wonder considering that in 2013 United States consumers spent $16.6 billion on video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. What was even more surprising were the amount and age range of the females playing these games:  “31% of girls ages 8 to 18 report playing video games on any given day”.





High School – Social Science/ English Class


  • Students will learn though research, synthesis of data collection, peer interviews and game observation about the negative psychological effects of how women are depicted in gaming and how these effects the way girls view themselves in regards to their own bodies.


  • Proteus effect
  • Psychological effect
  • Gaming
  • Gamer

Class Opener:

  • Students will watch several commercials of online, MMO’s (Massive multiplayer online games) and console games. Students will then write a list of their favorite video games and what category they are in and create a KWL Chart on what they perceive videos games to be.


  • Poster Boards
  • Markers
  • Computer
  • Smart Board



  • Students will reflect and analyze the data they collected while watching the videos.
  • Students will be asked to think about the last time they played a video game.
    • What did they think of the female characters?
    • What were they wearing?
    • What roles did they play?
    • How were they being treated?
  • Students will be separated onto cooperative groups.
    • They will discuss their feelings on gaming and women in gaming.
    • How these ideas transfer over to the real world.
    • Is there anything you as students can do about it?
    • Students will brain storm on ideas of how to portray female characters and avatars in a more positive light.
  • Have students share their ideas with the class. As the class discussion unfolds create a chart on the smart board comparing how women are portrayed and how each of those characteristics can be changed.
  • Students will then create the idea for a new video game in their cooperative groups.
    • The goal of the game.
    • Female role in the game.
    • What your female characters will be wearing.
    • How they will interact with their male counterparts.
  • Students will then create a poster advertising the new video game that they created in their cooperative groups.
    • This game will present all players in a positive role.
    • Explain the goal of the game.
    • Introduce the characters through drawings or fictional photos.
    • The role of all players.
  • Students will then fill the role of advertiser and try and convince their peers that this game is worth buying in comparison to the games in the class opener.
    • Explain why this is a better product.
  • How the game is better.
  • How the characters are better.
  • How females are represented in a more positive aspect.


  • In a one paragraph summary tell how this lesson has changed your mind about the video games you play?
  • What did you learn from this exercise about the role of females in video games and societies views on women?
  • Has your perception of videos games changed? How so?
  • Will you change how or what you will play? Why or why not?
  • Complete your KWL Chart.
  • Has your favorite list of video games changed? Have your paper reflect any changes.



Participation in video game class discussions – 15 points

Participation in video game creation – 15 points

Poster creation- 25 points

Poster presentation- 25 points

Reflection –

                Paragraph Summary- 10

                KWL Chart- 5



Michelle PfeifferLast Edited: Oct 2, 2013 4:51 PM


inappropriate content + time spent watching it = a REAL issue we need to address with our students.

I have to admit, it was difficult to sit down for a three hours in front of the TV. My first Aha: once I got started, three and a half hours passed just like that. Yikes! This was a surprising little side-note, but one of great importance if we consider that ’53 hours’ number that our students are spending in front of screens each week. Imagine! They are in school approximately 35-40 hours per week, if you include transportation time; need to sleep for a minimum of 56 hours per week; and spend 53 hours in front of a screen; that does not leave much for time for important things like interacting with others, eating dinner around a table, reading books for pleasure, spending time in nature, getting exercise, or getting to know friends better outside of school. I would venture to guess many kids are spending another 5-10 hours in sports/activities each week. This leaves 9-14 hours (or approx. 5%-8% of overall time) for all of the aforementioned (and in my opinion, quite important) activities put together. Screen time is sucking crucial time from our students at a critical time in their development. While I won’t venture to guess where this will get us in 20 years, I am imagining some pretty grim deficits.

Here is a breakdown of time in terms of percentages: of 168 hours per 7 day period, our students will spend approximately….

33% sleeping

32% in front of a screen

24% in school, including time spent getting there & back

3-6% in activities / sports

5-8% ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES (including eating meals, hygiene/grooming, play, reading, family time, traveling/visiting others, fresh air/nature, exercise ---etc etc etc.)

I watched ABC, NBC, Nickelodeon, ion, and WFTC(whatever that is??). I viewed a variety of programming, from local and world news, to Sponge Bob, to Law & Order and ‘Bones’. I watched with an eye for violence and disturbing imagery. My prediction going into this assignment was that I would be seeing a great deal of programming with inappropriate images, violence, and gore. Unfortunately, the programming played into my every expectation. In three hours, I saw blood, dead bodies, an entire row of decapitated ‘heads on a stake’, stabbing (29 stabs in less than ONE minute on one program), kicking, shoving, shooting, a locker-room fight, explosions, a cartoon character driving a bulldozer as fast as he could toward his adversary, shots of the most recent terror attacks in Kenya, destruction, gore, and twenty-seven graphic depictions of weapons being used. My husband and kids were watching with me as they were interested in the assignment and were helping me with juggling the remote/channel changing/ tallying. These images were all viewed between 5-8pm on a Sunday evening, a time families might typically have a TV on in their homes. This assignment made me want to unplug my TV and put it out on the street corner with a FREE sign. I won’t do that, because I understand the educational ‘flip side’ of television, but this assignment was eye-opening in the realm of violence, desensitization and disturbing imagery. Pair this inappropriate content with the time spent watching it, and we have a real conundrum to address in today’s classroom.

I got to thinking…how will this impact my students in my classroom? I decided to start with a simple lesson on one emotion: anger. I want my students to know it is okay and ‘normal’ (there’s that word again) to feel angry at times. The part we need to be careful about is what we do with our anger. How do we express anger? What can we do to resolve anger? We will discuss images depicting 'anger' from movies, television, and video games. How do these characters express anger? I want my students to analyze whether these expressions are peaceful or not. Immediately jumping to a violent reaction rather than a peaceful solution seems to be the trend in the media. I would like to help my students discover alternative ways of expressing their anger. This assignment has shed light on the fact that students are being exposed to violence, reactionary behavior, and destruction in the media, and have likely become desensitized. I worry that this desensitization has the power to manifest itself in children’s reactions when they become angry. I’d like to take a step back and ask them to consider alternatives, analyze different reactions / behaviors / choices; and synthesize all they have learned to make a plan for dealing with their own anger in the future (something everyone has to do from time to time).

Lesson Activity: “I’m Angry!” 4th grade

Objectives: Students will…

  • Analyze the way feelings are portrayed in the media by watching clips (Snappy Launch)
  • think about a time they felt very angry and discuss what it felt like.
  • consider ways to express/resolve angry feelings through class discussion and journal work.
  • analyze whether their solutions are peaceful or not by indicating yes/no in their journal.
  • synthesize what they have learned in a written 'peaceful solution' piece.

Vocabulary:  anger, violence, peaceful, compromise, express, resolve

Snappy Launch: provide students with several video clips of TV characters that students may recognize from the media; ask students to identify how they think each character is feeling after watching each clip. Explain that today they will talk about what it feels like to be angry and ways to peacefully express and resolve these powerful feelings.


  1. Referencing imagery from snappy launch, ask students to think about what anger looks like. // discuss. What do we see on TV, in the movies, in video games?
  2. Call on a few students and ask them to describe how they can tell someone else is angry. // discuss.
  3. Ask students to think about a time they felt very angry.
  4. Think/Pair/Share: have students partner together and briefly share who they were angry at and what it was about. Have them describe what it felt like to be so angry. Practice active listening skills we have been working on.
  5. Bring the group back together; have a couple of partners share. Work together to brainstorm ways people can express their angry feelings. (All answers welcome; don’t worry about ‘good’ / ‘bad’ solutions). Encourage broad thought on this: have students think about what they see on TV, in movies, in video games, at home, at school, with friends/parents/siblings etc.
  6. Make a list on the smart board as the discussion unfolds.
  7. Discuss peaceful, non-violent solutions vs. reactionary, violent solutions.
  8. Analysis: have students work individually in their journals to assess whether each solution is peaceful or not; have students fold a piece of paper in half and list ‘peaceful’ solutions on one half, ‘violent’ solutions on the other. Ask students to provide rationale behind their analysis.
  9. Now I want you to think about yourself, specifically. Think about how YOU feel when you are angry. (There is not a right/wrong answer here. I might feel differently than Jenna does. We can each have our own ideas on this.) How does your body feel? What is your breathing like?
  10. Students work individually to consider the following questions in their journals:
  1. Some things that make me angry…
  2. When I feel angry, I…
  3. People make me angry when they…
  4. Something that frustrates me…
  5. The first thing I do when I am angry is…
  6. When I am angry, sometimes it helps to…
  7. Something that helps me calm down…
  8. Too much anger and frustration can…
  9. Next time I feel angry, I will…
  1. Synthesis: have students describe themselves employing one peaceful solution in detail, in writing. Have them imagine what they are feeling, how their expression looks, their breathing, the tone of voice they would use, etc.
  2. Ask for a few volunteers to share their solutions with the class.
  3. Collect written responses; check for understanding, assess participation level.
  4. Bring group together for discussion / wrap-up: Today we discussed how it feels to get angry. Everyone gets angry once in awhile. It is normal to feel angry when something does not go your way or someone hurts you in some way, on purpose. We decide how we react to our angry feelings. Today we came up with some really good, non-violent, peaceful solutions. I hope the next time you feel anger, you will be able to stop and think about how you react. It is up to you to express your anger and resolve it.



25 points – Participation in media analysis discussion + brainstorming session.

25 points – Analysis activity: 4-Every Idea sorted, thoughtful rationale provided; 3-80% of ideas are sorted, with rationale;  2-less than 80% have been sorted, little rationale; 1-less than 50% of ideas have been sorted, little/no rationale provided.

25 points - Individual questions answered thoroughly: 4-all questions answered with careful thought & consideration; 3-most questions answered pretty well; 2-some questions answered; 1-student did not take his/her time on this & will have to complete another time.

25 points – Synthesis: descriptive writing


Grace Bohanna

TV Deconstruction

Have you ever wondered how often alcohol appears during programming that is geared toward teens and young adults or how its use is portrayed?  After overhearing a student talk about how his friends acted while drinking at a party, not only did I want to answer this question in general, I wanted to answer this in terms of the individuals in the classes where I have been substituting.  I surveyed a high school class to find out which shows they watch (or would watch) during a specific three hour period between the hours of seven and ten in the evening.  I compiled the results and chose the most commonly watched shows for my own observations. The shows I watched were on the following channels:  USA, TBS, CW, MTV, and Oxygen.

In a three hour period, twelve commercials involved either the use of alcohol or reference to alcohol consumption.  There were three instances where the alcohol was part of the set in the background, and three occasions where alcohol was referenced during the show.  What is surprising is that even though there were only six separate instances of alcohol “use” on the shows, the scenes that involved people holding or drinking alcohol took up twenty-five minutes of time. That is an astonishing twenty percent of viewing time, and that does not include commercials and verbal references!

I was a teenager during the 1980’s, which coincided with the debut of MTV.  There was an explosion of defiant teenage culture portrayed in the media and pop culture, in general.  Even though my family did not have access to cable television, I watched it at my friend’s houses.  I remember watching a lot of videos and movies with teenage drinking (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Cocktail, etc.) and wanting to be part of that experience, so I waited outside of the liquor store and convinced a stranger to buy me alcohol.  After drinking an entire bottle of Kamikaze, I got very sick.  I was lucky enough that the stranger drove me to a familiar place and made sure that I was safe. 

There was an article on the Time website that discussed four personality traits that increase the risk of alcoholism. These personality types exhibit hopelessness, anxiety, high risk-taking behaviors, and impulsiveness.  Adolescents are already at a developmental phase in which they are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors, including underage drinking. When they are bombarded with programming that has people (including teens and young adults they admire) drinking without negative consequences, they are convinced that the outcome will be favorable for them.  The people drinking alcohol are shown celebrating victories and engaging in fun and exciting activities. They do not have anxiety issues.  Instead, they are excited or relaxed and partying with a lot of other people or having intimate conversations on a date. This suggests that drinking alcohol makes you popular, fun, exciting, relaxed, desirable, and socially acceptable.  It also makes teens think that drinking rarely has consequences. 

Teens are less likely to recognize alcohol-related problems or addictions. If they do identify them, they are less likely to seek help because they do not think they are normal, given the typical behaviors of people who drink on television. It does not help that beer commercials make the product seem so appealing. Even seeing alcohol as part of a TV set in the background desensitizes people to its dangers. Adolescents are struggling with identity and peer acceptance. If frequent alcohol use seems to be normal, why wouldn’t they want to drink?  They might also begin to think that drinking is an acceptable and safe way to deal with your problems.  For example, on Vampire Diaries, the vampires drink alcohol to take the edge off of their need for blood.

Based on the type of influence television has on drinking, teachers need to make students aware of how they are affected by media.  We also need to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of drinking as well as the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help.  A liver biopsy of cirrhosis done side-by-side with a healthy liver would help to show them the effects of alcohol on the liver.  We should challenge students to come up with alternative solutions to dealing with stress and making friends. They also might benefit from hearing from and talking to recovering alcoholics and teens who have been involved with drunk driving accidents.


Lesson Plan: “Organ Intervention”


  • Students will learn about the negative effects of alcohol on body systems by performing a web quest and participating in a group role playing activity.
  • Students will learn some common misconceptions about alcohol and will express their attitudes about alcohol consumption by participating in the “Pick a Side” activity.

Vocabulary:  The vocabulary will differ depending on the specific focus of each group.

Snappy Launch: Prepare a list of statistics and misconceptions concerning alcohol consumption.  Be sure to add questions about their attitudes toward alcohol (For example, is it okay for them to drink alcohol at home as long as they do not drive or leave the house?) At the beginning of class, tell the students that you will be asking them questions and they will indicate their responses by physically taking sides to show agreement or disagreement.



  1. Show the students clips of their favorite shows that include scenes where the characters are drinking and use it to start a discussion about the influence of electronic media.
  2. Students will perform a web quest that will include the following:
    1. Signs and symptoms of alcohol use/abuse
    2. Long-term and short-term effects of alcohol on major systems and organs (systems/organs should be listed as a starting point) Include physical, emotional, and social effects!
    3. Include statistics for the general population and for teens
    4. How the effects are different between: age groups, genders, and age groups
    5. Treatment/support options and barrier to treatment
    6. The connection between mental illness and alcoholism
    7. Info about how alcoholics are treated and the stigma attached to being an alcoholic
    8. Students will participate in a group role playing activity in which they will play the part of a particular system or organ that is staging an intervention and trying to explain to their “body” how they are affected by drinking, how the overall body systems will suffer, and how that will affect the entire body in multiple ways.
    9. Summarize what you have learned from the web quest and role playing activity and describe your feelings about drinking alcohol.  Give reasons for your point of view.



50 points – Web quest worksheet with information

25 points – Active and relevant participation in role playing activity activity

25 point – Summary Response

Marcia Ranft Jan 30, 2012 1:56 PM 


Television Analysis

            I watched programs on NBC, THC, FOX, PBS, and USA.  The television programs I watched made me realize that even when women are involved in work that may have previously been considered a “man’s” job, they are dressed inappropriately and even seductively.  Since when does a detective wear nothing but skin tight blouses and mechanics wear tiny tank-tops with plunging necklines?  Women on news programs talk about doing your own manicure to save money, while the men report on war, politics, and current issues in the world.  Even on the news programs women are wearing sleeveless dresses with a mid-thigh length – in the winter in New York.  The professional women on a soap opera look like models and come from rich families.  The companies they run are fashion or cosmetic oriented.  None of the women in any of these programs are overweight, have gray hair (or even short hair), are of Hispanic or Native American decent, or are gay.  They all have their hair perfectly in place and wear thick make-up.  The closest portrayal to a “real” woman was on PBS; a middle-aged woman wearing jeans and a blouse that covers her whole torso without revealing her breasts works in a store – maybe even owns it.  This dark skinned woman wears limited make-up (enough for the cameras) and has very natural appearing hair – groomed but not maneuvered into a perfect style.

            My take on these depictions is that students need to understand men and women can do any job they want to.  However, it is equally important to know that women do not have to be a super model or dress provocatively to do these jobs.  I want students to know that people who look like their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents do these jobs and so can they one day.  I would invite families to come and talk about their careers.  I would get some background information and fill in any voids I think need to be added with people I know from the community.  For instance, I might ask one of my best friends to come speak about her graphic design business she started on her own when she was in her lower 20s.  She was nominated for 2012 Executive Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.  I would ask all guests to come dressed the way they would for work and bring any safety gear needed to perform their jobs to give students an accurate depiction of the way these professionals dress.



Career Exploration in our Community Writing Project

Grade 4


Students will learn the equal roles of men and women in the workforce by listening to people talk about their work experiences.

Students will identify stereotypes of gender roles in the job force by asking questions and writing about them.

Students will prove they understand the stereotypes in the workforce by writing a non-fictional paper about the people they talked to.

Snappy Launch:

Is there a job that a man can do that a woman cannot do?  We are going to have visitors come to our classroom to talk about their jobs.  I want you to think about what stereotypes someone might have about how this job is normally done.


Stereotype: Something that is believed to be true about a person or group of people


Students will write a three paragraph non-fiction paper about at least one stereotype they thought of before watching the presenters.  For instance, students might have thought that only a man could be a mechanic.

Paper must include:

At least three paragraphs:

Introduction – 5 points

Body – 5 points

Conclusion –  5 points

At least one stereotype overturned by the presenters – 5 points



What Else Can We Do??

Objective: To encourage students to find other, more productive things to do that don’t involve video games. Students will display their projects and promote their ideas. Students will work as a group and be assessing each member individually.

Grade Level: 3-5


Presentation poster board




Other things students may want to bring from home to put on their posters

Vocabulary: Addiction, promote

Time: 45 minutes


            1.  (Snappy Launch) Ask students if they are aware that there is such a things as video game addiction.

            2. Explain to them that this type of addiction is in the same category as gambling.

             3. Encourage students to share reasons that playing too many video games might be harmful to their overall health.

            4. Ask students to think of some things they could do as an alternative to gaming. Record some of their ideas on the board.

            5. Tell the students that we’re going to be working in groups to come up with alternatives to gaming or screen time. Let them know that each group will be taking turns displaying their posters and promoting their ideas in the cafeteria during lunch. 

            6. Put the class into groups of 4 and ask them to find a spot to work.

            7. Have each group send up one member to get the supplies from the front of the room.            

            8.  Have them to get started brainstorming ideas and put the ideas on their board.

            9. Give them some time to work and practice reading their poster with their groups.

            11. Once they’ve had an adequate amount of time to practice, have them do a mini “fair” in the room and walk around and look at everyone else’s posters.

            12. Tell the students to come and sign up for a recess period to display their posters in the cafeteria.

            13. Have students put their supplies away and return to their desks.


Have students assess one another with Dr. Bridge’s CLIA cooperative learning assessment. This will count toward 10/20 for the project.  I will assess the posters with this rubric and this will account for 10/20 points.








Students worked well together, remained on-task during entire lesson.

Students remained mostly on task, with no more than 1 correction.

Students remained somewhat on-task. Having no more than 2 corrections.

Off-task most of the time with 3 warnings.

Off task, received numerous warnings and no one changed their behavior.

Poster is neat, organized, and well planned out, it has more than 10 ideas on the poster.

Poster is neat, well planned, and has 8-9 ideas.

Poster is satisfactory, has 6-7 ideas.

Poster is less than satisfactory with only 4-5 ideas on the poster.

Poster is unacceptable, with less than 4 ideas on it.