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9 – 12 > Unit 1 > Lesson 4

Feeling On Display (9-12)

Are girls and guys judged differently when they post photos online?

Students explore the pressures many teen girls and boys face to keep up appearances online. Students watch a video in which teens candidly discuss the atmosphere of judgement and criticism they associate with photo sharing on social network sites, and the double standard that applies to boys and girls. Students then reflect on their own experiences with photo editing, posting, commenting, and tagging – and draw connections between these experiences and broader social messages about gender.

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to ...

  • identify examples of teens evaluating one another’s photos online.
  • compare and contrast attitudes toward boys and girls regarding editing, posting, and commenting on personal photos that are posted on social network sites.
  • analyze broader gender norms and media messages that may frame the way people use and interpret photos on social network sites.

Note: This lesson centers on photos on social network sites, specifically sites that allow users to choose profile pictures and upload personal images. Before starting this lesson, you may want to take an informal survey of the kind of social media that your students use. For students who do not have social network profiles, you can ask similar questions about students’ headshots or “senior pages” in the school yearbook. Or, alternatively, have them imagine what it would be like to upload personal photos to an online profile.

Alignment with Standards

Common Core State Standards:

Grades 9-10: RI.1, RI.2, RI.4, RI.6, RI.10, SL.1a-d, SL.2, SL.3, SL.6, L.6

Grades 11-12: RI.1, RI.4, RI.6, RI.10, SL.1a-d, SL.2, SL.6, L.6


2b, 2d


1a, 1b, 4a-d, 5d, 5e

Additional Lesson Materials

Family Tip Sheet
Student Activity Sheet