Explanation of the activity:

This activity will allow the students to learn about how advertisements make products seem appealing.

 

Preparation:

For this activity, you will need product description sheets, an empty cereal package with no labels or labels covered by blank paper, an empty soda pop bottle or can with the label covered, a candy bar without a wrapper (some foil underneath) or a candy bar with the label covered, a potato chip bag with the label covered and art supplies. 

 

Directions:

  1. Divide the students into four groups.
  2. Each group is an advertising agency that has been hired by their product’s manufacturer to sell their product. They are going to make a 30-60 second commercial.
  3. Give each group a different Product Description sheet.
  4. Explain that due to limited time, they will only be able to use some of the information on the Product Description Sheet.  They have to decide which information will make the product seem appealing.  That information is what should be told in the commercial.

 

*This activity may be split up over the course of a few days.

 

Part 1: Brainstorming

  1. In their groups, the students should decide which items on the Product Description Sheet they want to highlight in their commercial.
  2. Students should also decide which advertising techniques they want to use.  Display the advertising techniques on the board or elsewhere to remind the students what they are.

 

Part 2: Scripting

  1. Have each group create a script for their commercial.  They should rehearse their scripts to make sure that they fit the time limit.
  2. The students should also use this time to design the labels for their products.

 

Part 3: Performing

  1. Have each group present their commercial to the class.
  2. Once every group has presented their commercial, use either a written ballot or have the students raise their hands to vote on the product that they would like to buy the most based on the commercial, without voting for the group they were in.

 

• Begin with the group that received the most votes. Have the students that voted for the product that received the most votes, raise their hands. Tell them to keep their hand raised until they hear something about the product that would make them not want to buy (or eat) the product anymore. Explain that this could be anything, including something that makes the product seem unhealthy.

•Have one student from the winning group read the items on the Product Description Sheet one by one. Do this for each group/product.

•Ask the students to tell the class why they left out the information that they did. Hopefully, students will be able to explain that presenting the health information may not make the product appeal to people. Reinforce the fact vs. opinion. What was a fact in their commercial? Which statements were opinions?

•Discuss resources that can be used for children to find out facts about food and drink after they see a commercial for it.

The nutrition label is the best source for information. This will give the sugar content and show other nutrients that the product provides. (A nutrition label lesson is provided later in the curriculum and there are two lessons on nutrients.) Most fast food restaurants will provide nutrition information for their menu upon request.

•Parents are another good source. Tell students that it is a good idea for students and parents to learn together about the products that they are consuming.

•Teachers and doctors are also an excellent source of factual information about food and drink products.

 

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