Lesson Plan

Truth or Money - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level: Grade 6 - 9

Author: This lesson has been adapted from Smoke-Free for Life, a smoking prevention curriculum supplement from the Nova Scotia Department of Health, Drug Dependency and Tobacco Control Unit.


In this lesson, students explore how advertising leverage can lead to censorship of information about public health issues. They discuss the types of interest groups that seek to influence public opinion about smoking, as well as the strategies used by each group. Students then discuss the ways in which the tobacco industry has censored magazine messages about the health risks associated with smoking. To give students a chance to experience a smoking-related moral dilemma, they are placed in the role of a journalist whose article has been rejected because it could antagonize the magazine’s cigarette advertisers. They must then decide how to respond to the editor.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • an awareness of the potential influence of advertisers on magazine content
  • an understanding of the role tobacco advertisers may play in censoring information about public health issues in magazines
  • an awareness of possible connections between tobacco companies and companies that, on the surface, are not connected to tobacco products

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit: