From buses to TV to the Web, ads are everywhere, and many target kids ages 8 to 12! Do your students have the critical thinking skills to understand ads, what they're saying, and what they want kids to do?
To help you equip your students with these valuable skills, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has created a comprehensive advertising literacy program, which includes free lesson plans. Developed for 5th and 6th grade classrooms with Scholastic, Inc., the lesson plans meet national standards for language arts and social studies, and many teachers report using them successfully in grades ranging from 3-9. As part of the FTC's Admongo campaign, the program helps kids learn to ask three key "critical thinking" questions when they encounter advertising:
- Who is responsible for the ad?
- What is the ad actually saying?
- What does the ad want me to do?
Do you want to teach your students to better understand advertising? Use the lessons and tools below to help your students answer critical questions and guide them toward becoming smarter consumers.
Hard copies of the Admongo lesson plans are available for free. To order, visit ftc.gov/bulkorder.
Use the below links to print out the entire program in just three files.
This printable poster can be hung in your classroom to get students excited about advertising literacy and serve as a reminder of the three key critical thinking questions.
This packet has all of the in-class materials in one document, ready for review and reproduction. It includes an Education Standards Chart so you can easily see how Admongo fits into your requirements. Additional online lessons can be accessed and downloaded by clicking on Lessons 1 and 2 below.
This packet contains materials for continuing ad literacy at home, including homework assignments, a letter to parents, and a variety of family activities.
Lessons, Worksheets and Take-Home Handouts
The below links will allow you to explore and access the individual components of the Admongo classroom program.
Your students are exposed to advertising throughout their day. Use these lessons to equip your students with the critical thinking skills they need to navigate today’s media-rich world.
This lesson invites students to explore what advertising is, what ads do, and who's responsible for the messages in ads.
This lesson allows students to learn how (and why!) advertisers choose certain techniques to reach a certain target audience.
This lesson lets students see how research affects how ads are created and targeted - and lets students create their own ad.
This lesson asks students to reflect on how understanding ads helps them make better buying decisions (and be smarter consumers).
Use the printables below to support your teaching of the Admongo program. Each worksheet accompanies a lesson or bonus activity and can be used in the classroom or sent home with students for homework.
This worksheet asks your students to work in groups to review and compare advertisements.
This homework activity will encourage students to evaluate an ad and discuss what they think about it.
This printable provides your students with details about different techniques that advertisers use and how to recognize them.
Students will compare and contrast two ads to determine how different ad techniques are used.
Give your students a chance to work together to create their own ads, including discovering their audience, choosing techniques, and placing the ad.
Test your students’ knowledge with this helpful assessment tool.
Encourage ad literacy at home by sending the following activities home with your students.
Ads are everywhere! Embark on a home scavenger hunt to see all the ads you can find—the results might surprise you!
Are advertisers aiming their ads in the right direction? Watch your favorite family TV show and complete this ad-tracking activity to find out.
Use your new understanding of advertising to create an ad promoting your child’s school!