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Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise
Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise

This lesson addresses National Health Education Standard 4, Performance Indicator 2: explain how media influences thoughts, feelings, and health behaviors.


To help students investigate how commercials are designed to influence buying decisions.


Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to

  • explain how commercials influence buying decisions.
  • demonstrate strategies for analyzing commercials.

Program Summary

The program opens with the Life Skills 101 Song. Then in a classroom, the teacher, Mrs. Peterson, greets the children. She indicates that the topic for the day is television commercials. Learning to make choices about what you buy is an important life skill. And that means understanding more about how commercials work.

With this she turns to a video featuring Slim Goodbody He has the students imagine that it is Saturday morning and they are watching TV. Up pops and ad. Slim points out that companies and stores that advertise on television use commercials to convince us to buy. How do they do it? One strategy he illustrates is to get viewers on the band wagon by telling them that everyone has one of their products. Other strategies that he illustrates include: the use music, colorful packaging with cartoon characters on the box, and famous people. Above all, says Slim, advertisers know how to use the power of language. He illustrates with some made-up examples.

Slim concludes that all of these techniques are used to persuade you to buy what advertisers want you to buy. So it is important to learn to “read” commercials. That way, you can make better decisions about whether or not something is good for you and healthy for your body.

Mrs. Peterson then gives an assignment. She asks students to report on the commercials they see on television, radio, or in a magazine or anywhere else that ads appear. She has them report on how they think commercials make people want to buy products.

The next day students give their presentations. One group shows how music can make an ad more exciting. The kids conclude that the appeal of commercials is not a good reason to buy something. You need to get information about the product from labels, experts, and from doing research.

Slim Goodbody comes back to remind viewers that just as they have learned to read words in English or symbols in Math, they must learn to read the language of commercials and ads.

Additional Images : Click to enlarge
Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise
Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise Life Skills DVD 1: Media Wise

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