Lesson Plan

Printable activities for younger children

Lesson Plan

These printable activity sheets introduce basic media literacy skills and concepts and are suitable for use in homes, schools and libraries. They can be completed independently, but children will learn more if you discuss the activities with them. Younger children may need help reading the instructions and completing some activities.

Each activity is followed by a list of other MediaSmarts resources that can be used to extend the learning.

What is this cereal box saying? (ages 5-10)

This activity introduces the idea that media are everywhere – including our own cupboards and grocery store shelves – and are the result of choices that were made with particular purposes in mind.

The first part of this activity invites children to spot and colour in the different tricks that advertisers use to make kids notice a cereal box and ask their parents to buy it. The second part invites them to create their own cereal box that show their understanding of the same tricks.

Supporting resources

Tip sheet: Talking to kids about advertising

Today’s kids have become the most marketed-to generation in history, due to their spending power and their future influence as adult consumers. By talking to kids about advertising - how it works and how they’re targeted - we can help them to become more savvy as consumers and more resistant to the pressures to be “cool.”

Lesson: Can you spot the ad? (Grades K-3)

Students learn about the concept of branded content and will learn to differentiate between branded images and videos and non-branded images and videos in online and offline contexts through a series of questions and discussions.

Lesson: Advertising all around us (Grades 5-6)

This lesson helps students to become more aware of the language and techniques used in print advertising, as well as the impact of advertising on their daily lives.

Video: What is media anyway?

This video provides an introduction to various forms of media from traditional print, television and radio, to websites, online media and social networking.

Video: Media are constructions

Using the analogy of building a house, this video demonstrates that media combines carefully crafted elements to engage specific audiences to achieve specific outcomes.

Video: We’ll make them want it!

Packaging is the marketers’ last chance to convince us to buy their product. They have to grab our attention right away. Ava designs a package as she sings about the different packaging tricks marketers use to make kids say: “Wow! I want that!”

Video: Media is everywhere!

From billboards to magazines, music, apps, text messages and even the logo on your jacket, media is any form of communication that gets messages across to an audience. Ava sings about all the media surrounding us 24/7! 

Spot the house hippos (ages 8-13)

For more than 20 years, house hippos have been helping teach kids to think critically about media. In this activity, five of them are hiding in a very messy room. Kids can turn the page to make sure they spotted them all and also learn five ways to verify anything they’ve seen online.

Supporting resources

Tip sheet: Break the Fake: How to tell what’s true online

Here are four quick and easy steps to find out the truth and share good information. Sometimes you only have to do one of these things, and most steps take less than a minute.   

Lesson: Break the Fake: What’s real online? (grades 3-5)

In this lesson, students are introduced to the challenges of identifying what is real and what is fake online. After learning some simple steps to verify online information they create a poster that communicates the importance of questioning and double-checking online content.

Lesson: Break the Fake: Verifying information online (grades 6-9)

In this lesson, students participate in a workshop that teaches them four quick, easy steps to verify online information. After practicing these four steps they create a public service announcement aimed at teaching one of these steps and spreading the message that it is necessary for everyone to fact-check information we see online every time we are going to share it or act on it.

Video: House Hippo 2.0

The hippos are back to remind us that in today’s digital world, critical thinking is more important than ever.

Video: Four ways to tell if something is true online

Here are four steps you can take to determine whether a post or a story is true or not true.

Video: Reality Check: Authentication 101

Because anyone can create and share internet content, you need to take extra steps to ensure what you find is accurate. Here are a few tips to help you separate good information from bad.

Lesson Kit: