Lesson Plan

The True Story - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 5 to 8

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 the relationship between the marketing techniques used by tobacco companies and the true physical and social effects of smoking. The class begins with a deconstruction of messages in tobacco ads selected by the teacher, followed by a review of the physical ills associated with smoking. In small groups, students will then analyze cigarette ads by comparing their stated and unstated messages with “the true story” about the effects of smoking.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the marketing strategies used by the tobacco industry in order to market cigarettes
  • an awareness of how the tobacco industry downplays the health risks associated with smoking
  • an understanding of the “unstated” messages in smoking advertisements
  • an understanding of the physical and social cost of smoking

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

Lesson Kit: