Kids, Alcohol and Advertising - Lesson 2: Young Drinkers Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grade 4 to 8

Author: MediaSmarts

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


In this lesson, students learn why the alcohol industry needs replacement (new) drinkers and how it exploits the needs and desires of young people in order to foster brand loyalty. The lesson begins with a quiz about tobacco and alcohol, followed by class discussion on the alcohol industry and the rules surrounding alcohol advertising in Canada. The work sheet Facts about Young Drinkers provides students with up-to-date statistics on alcohol consumption by young people, and it can stimulate a class discussion about why kids drink. In the activity Whaddaya Say! students compare what alcohol companies say about their advertising campaigns with the opinions of researchers, child development experts and educators. As a homework assignment, students develop their own frameworks for alcohol advertising.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate an awareness of:

  • the similarities and differences between alcohol and tobacco and the advertising laws that apply to each
  • the drinking habits of Canadian and American kids and teens
  • the alcohol industry in Canada

An understanding of:

  • the consequences of alcohol and tobacco use

A beginning awareness of:

  • the codes and guidelines that govern alcohol advertising in Canada
  • the ethical considerations surrounding alcohol advertising
  • why young people are a potentially vulnerable group when it comes to alcohol advertising

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