Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising

Commercial advertising—we can't get away from it, but do we realize just how often we are being advertised to? With this activity, scholars analyze mass media to identify how its techniques influence our daily lives. Learners browse magazines, observe television commercials, and show what they know with an online quiz. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Preview content and appropriateness for school, if learners bring in their own personal magazines
  • Ask pupils to create a collage using magazine cut-outs that reflect one message the media sends us
  • Send a letter home to inform parents or guardians that homework does require their child to watch television
Classroom Considerations

  • Schedule time in the library, computer lab, or on mobile learning devices to complete internet-based lesson activities 
  • Copies are required of the short-answer worksheet 
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information

  • Extension activities are categorized by most appropriate grade-level span
  • The lesson is eye-opening and sparks thoughtful dialogue 

  • The article link in the "From Theory to Practice" section no longer works; but it does not take away from implementing a successful lesson