What is this cereal box saying? Printable activity sheet  Lesson Plan

This printable activity sheet introduces basic media literacy skills and concepts and is suitable for use in homes, schools and libraries. It can be completed independently, but children will learn more if you discuss the activity with them. Younger children may need help reading the instructions and completing the activity. 

This 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!