HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION LESSON IDEAS
Teaching a unit about the dangers of smoking? Get your kids to investigate just how the media plays an important role in whether or not people smoke. First we begin with a discussion of how someone might try to get you to smoke. Eventually we move into the topic of the "media" and how it may influence kids to smoke. I hand out 2-3 cigarette, cigar and chewing tobacco ads from various magazines to each group of kids. I let them try to figure out how the manufacturers are trying to convince kids to smoke. It becomes very obvious to them the tricks that are used (attractive models are used; people look happy, active, "cool", popular; contests are offered; bright colours grab attention, etc.) We record a list on chart paper of all the tactics used. I then tell the class to pretend that the Ministry of Health has contacted our school and asked students to help out with the smoking problem among young children. Our job is to combat the cigarette companies by playing "their game". We will create advertisements that will convince kids NOT to smoke and we will apply the same tactics used to get people to smoke. The kids love the challenge and of course the creativity comes alive. The students really get the idea of how readers/viewers can be unconsciously manipulated and put this information to GOOD use.
- Shayni Tokarczyk