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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 7

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 7
Influences: Adverts and Media

Purpose of activity: To understand how adverts affect us. Advertisements are part of the environment and they can reflect the values of our society and create peer pressure.

Life skills: Critical thinking, Creative thinking 

Important points: People who smoke cigarettes put their own and others health at risk. Advertisements for cigarettes try to influence people to start smoking and to buy cigarettes.

Materials: Three adverts for smoking (and/or other adverts in the environment which the children may see often). You can use the illustrations below but it is better to cut out local ones from magazines or newspapers or go on the streets to look at billboards, where appropriate.


  1. Ask the group what messages are being given by each advertisement. How does the advertisement try to affect us? For example:
    • By being colourful and eye catching;
    • by linking a good life with the product;
    • by using sexy image;
    • or by using words that make us laugh or catch us by surprise
  2. Discuss whether these advertisements tell the truth.
  3. Ask the children to describe or show a poster advert s/he likes very much and say why.
  4. Ask children what other kinds of adverts they hear or see (radio, TV, magazines).
  5. Discuss why we like or dislike advertisements and how they affect the way people think.
  6. In pairs or groups, ask children to act out a role-play in which one child has seen an advertisement for something that s/he wants to have or to do. S/he has to try to convince the group and the others in the group have to change his or her mind. Allow 10 minutes and then the pair or group have to declare the outcome.

Final discussion:

Ask the group to remember how the discussion developed. Ask the children if they have been affected by an advertisement. Which advert? Should we be careful of adverts? (Think about how we gain or lose from having or doing what is advertised.)

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