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the other drug war


Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Media Messages
  • Student Handout: Key Concepts in Media Literacy
  • Student Handout: Prescription Drug Advertising

  • Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Student Viewing Guide
  • Student Handout: Questions for Viewing
  • Student Handout: Key Terms and Definitions

  • Post-Viewing Lesson Plans
  • The Rest of the Story
  • Great Debates

  • Supplementary Activities

    Internet Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Post-Viewing Lesson Plan

    The Rest of the Story

    » Lesson Objective:

    Students will examine current drug advertisements and construct their own ads for fictitious prescription drugs that include information that may be left out or glossed over by drug company marketing.

    » Time Needed:

    One class period (Two if you allow students to create and act out commercials they design for television and share them in class)

    » Materials Needed:

    » Procedure:

    1. Review information covered in the Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan about media messages, particularly the principles of media literacy explained on the "Key Concepts in Media Literacy" handout. Ask students to carefully consider information that may be left out of prescription drug advertisements. (Example: Frequently the purpose of the medication is not included, and drug prices are not disclosed.)

    2. Ask students what parody and satire are, and what their purpose is. Discuss the use of parody and satire to expose problems and misleading information. (NOTE: Adbusters is a Web site that uses parody to expose misleading ads (http://www.adbusters.org/home). You may want to look at it for examples. Not all examples, however, are appropriate for high school students.)

    3. Ask students to create ad parodies for a fictitious prescription drug. Possibilities for the fictitious drug are the Fountain of Youth drug, the Instant Beauty drug, or Taller by Tomorrow drug. Details should include what the drug is for, possible side effects, and, if possible, the recommended U.S. price. (Students might also include a cost comparison chart for the drug in other countries.) You can ask students to create their own magazine ads using drawings and words or including some images cut from magazines. You could also have them form groups to script and act out a commercial for television.

      Ask students to consider the following questions as they construct their ads:

      a. If you were the drug advertiser, what would you want to get across to consumers?
      b. If you were the consumer, what information would you want to know about the drug?
      c. How is the information in the previous two answers the same and different?

    » Method of Assessment:

    Evaluate students' advertising parodies. (They may need to complete them at home for homework. If you choose to assign the role-playing option for a television commercial, have the groups perform their ad for the class and include student critiques.)

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