There are many pros and cons of social media. It is important for students to understand that a positive may also be a negative, and that there are many ‘shades of grey’ when interacting online. Equipping students to evaluate these perspectives will help them to make positive and safe choices when engaging online.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies


Social awareness

Learning intention

Students will learn to see both sides of a situation, understanding that social media is not black and white and it is important to see the shades of grey.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the perceived ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of social media

  • understand the ‘shades of grey’ of social media

  • feel confident to make positive choices when engaging with social media.

Materials needed

  • Butcher’s paper or electronic equivalent

  • Venn diagram

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse and reflect on the influence of values and beliefs on the development of identities (AC9HP8P01)

  • Analyse the impact of changes and transitions, and devise strategies to support themselves and others through these changes (AC9HP8P02)

  • Analyse factors that shape identities and evaluate how individuals influence the identities of others (AC9HP10P01)

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate strategies for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety or wellbeing may be at risk (AC9HP10P08)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Social awareness

  • Ethical Understanding:

  • Understanding ethical concepts and perspectives

  • Responding to ethical issues

  • Digital Literacy:

  • Practising digital safety and wellbeing

  • Critical and Creative Thinking:

  • Inquiring

  • Generating

  • Analysing

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Examine barriers to seeking support and evaluate strategies to overcome these (VCHPEP125)

  • Investigate the benefits of relationships and examine their impact on their own and others’ health and wellbeing (VCHPEP127)

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Examines and evaluates strategies to manage current and future challenges (PD4-1)

  • Demonstrates self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD4-9)

  • Assesses their own and others’ capacity to reflect on and respond positively to challenges (PD5-1)

  • Assesses and applies self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD5-9)

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

  1. Draw a Venn diagram on the whiteboard.

  2. In one circle, write ‘pros’ and in the second circle write ‘cons’.

  3. In the first circle, ask students to write the ‘pros’ (positives) of social media.

  4. In the second circle, ask students to write the ‘cons' (negatives) of social media.

  5. In the middle part of the diagram, where the circles overlap, ask students to write what could be both a ‘positive’ and a ‘negative’.

  6. As a class, discuss:

    • Why can social media be both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’?

    • What can be done to limit the impact of the ‘negatives’ of social media?

  7. Debrief with students. Explain that there are often grey areas with social media. While something might be ‘positive’ (e.g. being able to share photos with someone who lives far away), it can also be negative (e.g. hurtful comments). This means it can be hard to define something as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’.


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