Media literacy is such an important part of the classroom today. With technology changing so rapidly and children being exposed to such a vast variety of medias, spending time exploring this topic is critical. With my Grade 2 French Immersion class, I decided that we would end our media unit by creating and designing our own cereal boxes. I was thrilled with the results! Read on as I share some of the steps we took along the way.
About a month before we were to start, I asked my student’s parents to send in empty cereal boxes. It worked out perfectly because we had a great variety of “adult” cereals and “children” cereals. Students were very much aware of which ones were designed to be sold for “children” and this fact led into a great discussion of persuasive techniques.
After looking at the variety of cereal boxes, we turned our attention to two very different boxes. My students noticed right away that one was being marketed to adults and the other to children.
We talked about why that would be and looked at what tools the marketers use to persuade you to buy their cereal. We noticed on the cereal boxes that each contained some facts and some opinions and we made a list of the words and phrases we found on our cereal boxes. We sorted them by what was fact and what was an opinion.
We discussed the elements that they noticed made up a great cereal box: use of colour, large lettering, picture of the cereal in a bowl or spoon on front and at least two facts and two opinions. This helped us develop our success criteria and determine how to design our cereal boxes.
I decided to cover the cereal boxes with brown paper and have my students design their pictures on blank paper that would then be glued to the cereal box.
My students designed a rough copy for their cereal boxes, being certain to meet all the requirements we had discussed. Students had a lot of fun deciding on a name for their cereal. Once they were done we glued their designs to the paper covered boxes. My students were so excited to take these home!
What kinds of activities do you do as part of your media studies?