Quebec Competencies Chart - Packaging Tricks

Author: MediaSmarts
Level: Elementary Cycles One and Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts, Visual Arts
Lesson Link: Packaging Tricks

Description: This lesson introduces students to the ways in which packaging is designed to attract kids. The class begins with a discussion about packaging, and how the design, promotions and product placement all contribute to make a product attractive to consumers. In a series of individual and group activities, students compare similar food products based on packaging and on taste; assess the nutritional value of the foods and beverages they enjoy; and participate in a field trip to a local grocery store to see how packaging and placement affect consumer choices.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To be creative
  • To work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Media Literacy


This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

Competency 1: To Read and Listen to Literary, Popular and Information-Based Texts

Essential Knowledges:

  • Uses prior knowledge and personal experience of the content of a text
  • Use of pictures and other graphic representations to interpret texts
  • Questions and talk with others to clarify and enrich interpretations
  • Makes predictions, confirmations and inferences, when prompted by the teacher
  • Makes connections to prior knowledge or to other texts
  • Uses different reading strategies according to the text type
  • Reads, listens to and views a range of self-selected and personally relevant texts that include:
    • Use of personal, social and cultural background and experiences to interpret texts
  • Develops a personal response process in the context of a community of readers through:
    • Discussion of responses with others individually, on small groups and in the whole class
    • Development of opinions on literary or popular texts
    • Sharing of responses with others to clarify meaning and enrich interpretation
    • Comparing own responses with those of others at a beginner’s level
  • Moves beyond the initial response through:
    • Responses to texts in a variety of ways that include talking, writing, the Arts, Media
    • Early attempts to explain own views of a text
    • Support for own views with references to the text in small and large group discussions
    • Discussions of structures and features of text and their impact on the reader
    • Discussion of the structures and features of a text and their influence on the meaning of a text
  • Sees a text as a construction through:
    • Identification of some of the ways in which information is presented in popular and information-based texts 3
  • Understands the influence of familiar structures and features on the meaning of text through:
    • Identification of some structures and features of familiar text types
  • Begins to identify the view of the world presented in a text through:
    • Making of inferences, when prompted, about the view of the world presented by the text

Competency 2: To Write Self-expressive, Narrative and Information-based Texts

Essential Knowledges:

  • Writes to a familiar audience in order to express meaning(s):
    • Specific structures and features of familiar texts incorporated into own writing
  • Experiments with familiar structures and features of different text types in own writing:
    • Based on wide repertoire of texts read, viewed in the media and encountered in her/his community
    • To suit own purpose and audience
  • Develops concept of writer’s craft:
    • Guided discussion and questioning of texts read, listened to and produced in order to discover how the text works

Competency 3: To Represent Her/His Literacy in Different Media

Essential Knowledges:

  • Uses the familiar images, signs, symbols and logos in his/her environment:
    • Recognition that they are made by people for different purposes
    • Recognition that they have meanings/messages
  • Uses a repertoire of strategies to unlock messages/meanings in various media texts:
    • Use own questions in order to predict and confirm
    • Draw on prior experience with familiar media texts to understand how they are constructed
    • Rereads/looks again in order to clarify and extend understanding of a text
  • Uses structures and features of texts:
    • Compare structures and features of familiar media texts
    • Uses visual texts to communicate information in group productions of media texts
    • Locates similar structures and features in media texts (i.e. a movie and a poster)
    • Uses familiar structures and features to respond to and produce media texts
  • Makes meaning of a media text by:
    • brainstorming
    • drawing on prior knowledge
    • sharing responses with peers
    • making connections to own experiences
    • considering some of the functions of different, familiar media in relation to her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of a text
    • Using structures and features of the medium and text type in order to clarify meaning and explain her/his response, in collaboration with peers
    • Identifying and discussing some of the ways in which pictures, illustrations, popular symbols and signs and images enhance the messages/meanings in media texts designed for young viewers
  • Consider some of the functions of the media through:
    • Collaboration with peers in pairs, small groups and whole class to clarify, decode and respond to media texts
    • Identifying her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of familiar media texts
    • Looking at some functions of different, familiar media in relation to her/his understanding of the messages/meanings of a text
    • Describing some of the features of media texts, with content aimed at viewers of the same age and younger, that entertain, inform and promote
  • Understands that texts are social and cultural products through:
    • Own response and responses of others:
      • Compares own response with those of peers in order to support and enrich own understanding
      • Explores how the structures and features of texts shape meaning for audience
  • Pre-Production:
    • Selection from the following text types (NOTE: The texts listed below are the same as those that are referred to throughout the Production Process):
      • Greeting cards, illustrated picture books, storyboards, paintings and drawings, illustrations (using different media), cover for a favourite book
      • Immersion in the text type to be produced and discussion of its structures and features 1 2 3
      • Creation of criteria for guiding production:
        • Initial consideration, based on her/his knowledge of familiar text type 2 3
  • Production:
    • Production of the texts listed above in groups with peers that:
      • Incorporate images, symbols, signs, logos and/or words to communicate meaning or message
      • Incorporate appropriate communication strategies and resources given the text type and the context
      • Function as popular media text type
      • Function as information-based text type:
        • Follows an appropriate, prescribed procedure to locate, organize and present information, with guidance, on a familiar topic
        • Gathers and sorts information, as a beginner and with guidance, on a familiar topic from various media
        • Use mixed media, e.g. images and words
        • Entertain, inform and persuade
  • Post Production:
    • In collaboration with group members:
      • Review of texts produced in order to focus on message/meaning
      • Seeking of feedback from peers

Competency 4: To Use Language to Communicate and Learn

Essential Knowledges:

  • Shares information with peers and teacher
  • Talks about responses and point of view with peers and teacher
  • Asks and answers questions from peers and teacher
  • Participates in collaborative improvisation and role-playing activities to communicate experiences and responses:
    • Creation of a scene, given a framework
  • Responds to the ideas and points of view of others with sensitivity and interest
  • Talks through new ideas and information
  • Shapes communication to achieve its purpose and to meet the needs of the listener/audience
  • Examining of alternative points of view and providing reasons for choosing one over the other
  • Uses language (talk) for learning and thinking by:
    • Participating in collaborative reading, writing, viewing, visually representing, listening and talking activities:
      • Writing, producing and reading together
      • Brainstorming
      • Planning of a cross-curricular or mixed media project
    • Participating in role-playing, improvisation and storytelling activities to try out new ideas in new situations and for other purposes
    • Questioning and challenging of different points of view/perspectives
  • Listens critically