Advertising surrounds us everywhere today and they are constantly telling us to buy something, visit somewhere, or vote for someone. Why not use these easy to find tidbits to test our students’ reading and writing skills? TV411.org has created a fantastic online interactive lesson that does just that – Truth in Advertising.
Truth in Advertising consists of three different interactive activities that students in grades 6-12 could complete with ease in a 40-minute class period. The first activity is a test or reading comprehension as students answer six question based on different fictional ads presented to them. The second activity in the Truth in Advertising lesson requires students to analyze the different persuasive writing tactics employed in these fictional advertisements. After each question, students are given immediate feedback on their answers with gentle correction and reflection if one is missed. The final activity in Truth in Advertising students are asked to read three short text based ads and then reflect on whether or not they would buy the product or do what the ad asked. They can reflect on the persuasive techniques employed or say that they need more information to make a decision.
While the Truth in Advertising site would not make a complete lesson by any means, it can serve as a great introduction either to the use of advertising and various ad techniques or for persuasion and persuasive writing in general. Try expanding the activities you encounter here into ad creation or analysis in your local media or perhaps as part of a greater project in persuasion techniques and writing.