Overview: Students will become aware of advertising already in the schools and will work on critical thinking and debating skills.

Materials: TV/VCR.



Advertising is moving into American schools in corporate-sponsored curriculum, in school busses and hallways, and during television programs shown in classrooms.

Some educators believe that accepting advertising benefits students. In exchange for showing Channel One, an in-school broadcast service that includes advertisements, schools get to use video equipment for free. Others feel that advertising will give schools additional funding. In Affluenza, the superintendent of a school district decides to accept advertising to increase school funding because voters haven't approved a levy in his district since 1972.

Others say schools should be ad-free zones. Requiring students to view advertising is unfair, they say, because students are a captive audience, and because advertising messages may get more credibility from the school setting. Students have been taught to trust what they learn in school, they say and they worry that advertising distracts from education.


Start video when screen reads: "Empowered child?" (about 10:54 on the counter)

Stop video after this scene: "So it's a big deal? Yes!" (about 12:43)

Discuss the following questions and create a pro-and-con list on the board.

1. Where is advertising in school now?

2. Do you think advertising belongs in schools?

3. What about advertising that we wear to school, like logos?

4. How could schools be funded?

5. Where should the money that funds schools come from?

6. Should there be some ad-free zones within your community?

Writing: Ask students write about whether or not advertising should be in schools.

Debate: Divide students into teams and create a classroom debate. Ask one team to argue in favor of advertising is schools, and the other team against.

Option for younger students: ask them to create an advertisement that either promotes or speaks out against advertising in schools.





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