Alcohol on the Web - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 9 to 10

Author: MediaSmarts

Production of this lesson has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & CREATE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In this lesson, students explore issues surrounding the marketing of alcoholic beverages on the Internet. The lesson begins with a class discussion about personal experiences on alcohol industry websites, followed by a summary of the research findings of the U.S. Center for Media Education (CME) and Center on Alcohol Advertising to Youth on alcohol advertising on the Web. In addition, students become familiar with existing Canadian guidelines on the broadcasting of advertisements for alcoholic beverages and discuss the challenges of applying these guidelines to Web content. In groups, students deconstruct and evaluate current beer, liquor and wine websites using a checklist of youth-friendly marketing techniques. Group findings are presented to the class.

Note to Teacher: In this lesson students will be visiting alcohol websites which, in theory, are not intended for minors. Because of this, you may wish to have parental permission before sending the kids into sites that are nominally age-restricted.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate an awareness of:

  • the Internet as a sophisticated marketing tool
  • the techniques used by online marketers to attract kids and teens
  • the issues surrounding alcohol websites and youth
  • their own responses and those of their peers to youth-oriented Web content

recognition of:

  • “youth-friendly” features on adult-oriented websites

an appreciation of:

  • the challenges relating to regulation of Internet content
  • elements of design on commercial websites

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

Lesson Kit