April 30, 2008
There are many teen-focused magazines that talk about looks, broken relationships, dieting, “in styles” along with a certain amount of gossip. I often see my students with them as they walk around school and come into the classroom.
One day I borrowed one of their magazines to show the class, trying to teach them to look at it with a critical eye. I explained to them how difficult it is to find articles and stories about building self- esteem, dressing modestly, working to have healthy relationships and real friendships. We discussed the media’s goal to sell a product that is attractive to many teens. Most of my students agreed. So I went on to say “how great it would be to have a magazine that is attractive to teens, but yet speaks of positive values, Christian values, of good habits.” Even if a teen didn’t feel close to God in that moment of their life, they could still see the positive in the magazine.
I then offered them a project assignment: Create a magazine that contains aspects of a Christian lifestyle (positive values, Christian values, of good habits) but which is appealing to people their age. Some other details of the assignment:
- Total length must be 20 pages
- must have a title and cover page with details (like on a real magazine)
- must contain at least three of each of the following: ads, stories, letters (asking for advice), tips (make-up, etc..), pictures and articles
The results were great! The photo shows the cover of one of the magazines.
Feel free to adapt it to your class.
And if you can, share the covers with us on the blog.