Grade 4 How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Media is a powerful tool that can influence thinking and behaviour.
Lines of Inquiry: 

  • Media and its purposes
  • How media can influence our thinking and perceptions
  • How audiences interpret and react to media differently

As part of the How We Express Ourselves unit, Grade 4 students inquired into media as a powerful tool that can influence thinking and behavior. The inquiry was driven by questions about the features of media and its purposes, how media can influence students’ thinking and perception and how audiences interpret and react to media differently. Based on shared learning outcomes, the following subjects integrated with this inquiry: Visual Art, Music, Drama, ICT, Social Studies and Literacy. 

In Social Studies and Literacy, Grade 4 analysed media texts and explored the language, design and format of media. Students also inquired into audience perspectives, responses to media, and persuasive techniques. They learned about how bias influences audiences, and they developed their own success criteria for responsible media.
In order to authentically apply and transfer their understandings, student groups collaboratively determined a topic that they wanted to inform, persuade, or sell to an audience. In their specialist classes, they applied their criteria for responsible media in order to develop a news segment, public service announcement, or advertisement. These groups collaborated in all subject areas to develop a final product. 

In Music, students analysed the role of music as a tool to impact the audience through persuasion and emotion. As a next step, students created media music to support their topic using the composition software GarageBand for their media project, including jingles, voice overs, re-arrangements and sound effects.

Some of our Grade 4 students working together

Visual Art classes focused on visual literacy, through which students developed an understanding of finding, interpreting, evaluating and creating visual media. In groups, they designed logos and visual texts for use in their media project. 

In Drama, students inquired into how to use their voices and body language as tools to inform, persuade, or sell to their chosen audience. Groups created their own scripts, practiced their acting and used the green screen in the media room to film their videos. 

This Grade 4 unit on How We Express Ourselves was a truly trans-disciplinary unit that allowed students to develop and transfer conceptual understandings of media, as well as communication and thinking skills. Students were open-minded as they learned about others’ perspectives while also informing their own.