Lesson Plan

Scientific Detectives - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 6 to 8

Author: This lesson has been adapted from The TV Book: Talking Back to Your TV, by Shelagh Wallace, Annick Press (Toronto, Canada), 1996, and accompanying activities written by Chris Worsnop.


In this lesson, students use science and critical thinking to test the legitimacy of advertisers’ claims about their products. The lesson begins with students viewing and discussing a series of ads that make claims about their products. Students read a case study about two girls who replicated experiments from advertisements as a science fair project, and discuss their findings. Then students conduct their own experiments to see if products live up to their claims.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • an awareness that claims made in commercial messages may not be entirely accurate
  • an awareness that there are rules governing advertising claims
  • an understanding of the need to critically question media messages
  • an ability to investigate the properties of objects and materials

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

Lesson Kit: