Grade level:


Approximate Lesson Duration:

1-2 days

Unit/Lesson New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS):

7.1.IH.A.1  Analyze and critique information contained in culturally authentic materials using electronic information and other sources related to a variety of familiar and some unfamiliar topics.
7.1.IH.A.2  Demonstrate comprehension of spoken and written language as expressed by speakers of the target language in formal and informal settings, through appropriate responses.
7.1.IH.A.5 Synthesize information from oral and written discourse dealing with a variety of topics.
7.1.IH.B.4  Ask and respond to questions as part of a group discussion of topics and situations of a personal, academic, or social nature.
7.1.IH.B.5 Engage in oral and/or written discourse in a variety of timeframes on topics of personal or social interest or on topics studied in other content areas.
7.1.IH.C.1  Explain and compare how a cultural perspective led to the development of a cultural product or cultural practice in the target culture(s) and in one’s own culture, through a multimedia – rich presentation to be shared virtually with a target language audience.
7.1.IH.C.3 Use language creatively in writing for a variety of purposes.
7.1.IH.C.5  Explain cultural perspectives associated with the target culture(s), as evidenced by the cultural products and cultural practices associated with the target culture(s), and compare these perspectives with those of one’s own culture.

Brief Summary of Cultural Competencies Related to the Unit/Lesson:

Students will examine ideals of beauty in different cultures and explore the movement to expand these ideals to include models with disabilities.

Lesson Overview:

Essential Question(s)
  • How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established?
  • How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?
  • How and why do perceptions of beauty change over time?
Enduring Understanding(s)

Ideals of beauty can vary from culture to culture and within a culture.  The definition of beauty is fluid and can be broadened to include a wide variety of characteristics.

Potential Misconceptions

Students may initially fail to find beauty in images of people with disabilities or may be uncomfortable looking at these images.

Learning plan, experiences, intstruction and learning activities:

What is Expected?
  • List the intentional learning objectives on the board.

Students will be able to:


  • Identify examples of the ideals of female physical beauty in the target culture
  • Identify examples of the ideals of female physical beauty in their own culture
  • Compare and contrast these ideals
  • Define circumstances in which these ideals can be expanded to encompass additional characteristics not typically included



Today we will be working on identifying what constitutes “beauty” in different cultures.

What is expected?
How will we hook (Introduce this to) the students?
  • Activate thinking
  • Consider the language you will use to introduce the lesson (See example in the table)

Link to Engagement

Recently, we began our unit on Beauty and Aesthetics.  You should now have the necessary vocabulary to describe physical attributes and express your opinions about what constitutes the idea of “Beauty”.

Turn and talk to a partner about your impressions of the two images (one of PIcasso’s “Woman in a Hat” and “Young Girl in the Grass” by Berthe Morisot). Use as much descriptive language as possible and isolate elements that you would classify as beautiful in each image (if any).

You are really beginning to understand that beauty can take different forms.  Today, we’re going to dig deeper with a new focus.  This focus is on expanding the definition of beauty. 

The teacher should introduce this lesson after introducing vocabulary related to the theme of Beauty and Aesthetics. The teacher should decide what structures to include in the lesson.  Suggestions include expressions for expressing opinion, the subjunctive tense for expressing wishing and wanting, etc.  Students should also have had the opportunity to evaluate images that represent the ideals of physical beauty in the target culture. The website for Elle magazine (see link below) is a resource for images from around the world.

What equipment, resources, or materials are needed?
  • Images and videos mentioned in the introduction to the lesson (links below)
  • Projector
How will we rethink or revise our thinking throughout the lesson?
  • What learning is confirmed?
  • What misconceptions are uncovered?
  • What is your new thinking?

The goal of the lesson is for students to revise their thinking about what can be considered beautiful.  The activities of the lesson will help students to understand that ideals of beauty can and do evolve over time and in different circumstances.

How will students self-evaluate and reflect on their learning?

The writing activity associated with the guided practice portion of the lesson will allow students to reflect on what constitutes beauty and challenge their perspectives on beauty.

How will we tailor learning to varied needs, interests, and learning styles?

Information is presented in visual and aural form.  The lesson includes opportunities for reflection in pairs as well as individually. All modes of communication are represented in the lesson.

How will we organize the sequence of learning during the lesson?

Scaffold the Instruction

  • Model: The teacher will introduce the lesson with the Picasso and Morisot images as outlined above. Students will engage in a think-pair-share activity before sharing out with the class.  The teacher can fill in any gaps in vocabulary  and model the sentence structure that is to be reinforced in the lesson.
  • Guided Practice: The teacher can ask students to respond to the question, “Who or what establishes the norms of beauty in our society?” Answers may include television, social media, etc. The teacher will then introduce new images of models who represent an expanded ideal of Beauty.  Some examples are:
    • Dominican-American model Jillian Mercado, who uses a wheelchair
    • Haitian model Mama Cax, who had a prosthetic leg
    • Canadian model Winnie Harlow who has the skin disease vitiligo
    • Mexican model Tamara Mena, who uses a wheelchair
    • Puerto Rican-Sicilian model Dru Presta
    • models from the Aerie company “REAL” campaign

The teacher can ask students to reflect and write down their ideas about how these models challenge the current cultural perspectives related to beauty before sharing out with the class.

  • Independent Practice: Interpretive listening activity: Students will watch and listen to one of the youtube videos listed below about models with disabilities.  (There is one video in each of the target languages: French, Spanish, and Italian) Students are asked to respond to the following questions (in the target language):
    • What is the goal of this video?
    • What do the people in the video have in common besides their disability?
    • Choose 2 people featured in the video and write down 2 things you understood about what they have to say.
    • If you had to create a title for this video, what would it be? 

Check for understanding:

(Formative evidence such as conferencing, group Q/A, teacher observation, exit-slip, etc.)
  • Reflection and think-pair-share activities indicate level of engagement and understanding of concepts and essential questions.
  • Responses to video questions indicate level of comprehension of spoken language.
Quiz/Test (optional):
(attach copy of assessment)

Performance Task/Project:
(attach rubric)

Presentational Speaking task: How have attitudes towards the ideals of physical beauty evolved over time? Compare the attitude of your community with that of (target culture).  Give examples.  Student performance will be evaluated based on the AP Language and Culture Presentational Speaking rubric.

Interpersonal Writing task: The teacher can also ask students to write a professional email to a company in the target culture encouraging the company to be more inclusive in the models it chooses in its advertisements. Student performance will be evaluated based on the AP Language and Culture Interpersonal Writing rubric.


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