Children view more than 40,000 commercials per year on television alone. That’s not including the advertisements they’re exposed to on the Internet, in apps and at school influencing them to buy a certain toy, candy bar, shoes, etc. This fun activity gives them the opportunity to create their own advertisement and learn the art of persuasion for themselves.

Materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Empty bottles, jars, boxes, etc. (depending on products)
  • Notebook paper
  • Props
  • Video camera for recording commercials (optional)

Instructions:

  1. To get started, discuss why people buy things. Have each student think of a commercial they think is particularly clever or one that they can’t get out of their heads. Ask, “What makes a commercial hard to forget?”
  2. Divide students into groups of two or four.
  3. Challenge students to think of a new product such as a shampoo, soap, chewing gum, breakfast cereal or gym shoes. Have them come up with a unique name for their product, like Batch of Bubbles, Captain Clean or Yummy Crisps. Next, allow students to design the packaging for their product.
  4. Have students write a script for their commercial. Limit commercials to 30 seconds. During this process, they should also choose simple props and select the actors for the commercial.
  5. Once they’re ready, ask each group to act out their commercial in front of the class.
  6. To wrap up the activity, discuss which commercial made them want to buy the product and the elements of each commercial that stood out most. Teachers can also give commercial awards like “Funniest,” “Most Original” and “Best All-Around.”

 

This activity was repurposed from Summer Sizzlers & Magic Mondays: School-Age Theme Activities