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Cereal Box: Sell That Cereal

Subject: Media Literacy/Technology
Grade Levels: grades 3-5

Instructional Time: Approximately thirty-six 55 minute periods (one trimester seeing students three times per week)

Resources/Materials: AppleWorks or Print Shop Deluxe. Construction paper, crayons, markers, poster board, scissors, rulers.

In this lesson, students simulate the organization of a company that produces cereal. They create a new cereal and plan an advertising campaign to sell their product. Computer software is used to create ads, brochures, banners, etc., and students plan live presentations in the form of TV commercials and interviews. Presentations are recorded if equipment is available.

The goal of this lesson is to help students learn strategies used in developing an ad campaign for a product and to make them aware of career opportunities in the advertising field.

Teacher to Teacher: This activity will take several weeks and should be integrated into the study of many subjects. Special spelling words can be chosen for students to learn and use in their presentations and presentation materials. Nutritional information can be researched, and students can use the information in their ad campaigns. Art projects can be assigned for creating magazine layouts and other images. Students should write a prospectus of their plan on MS-Works before beginning the project to demonstrate that they have given thought to organization and planning.

1.Organize students in groups of four or five. Have them create a company that produces cereal. The company should have a name, a logo, a product name, a new brand of cereal, and perhaps even a mascot. Each student should have a "job" in the company and related responsibilities.

2.Let students work together to develop a campaign to sell their product, using MS-Works to create any needed memos, letters, spreadsheets, charts, or databases. They can create bulletins, pamphlets, and newsletters.

3.Have them use graphics software to create the logo and graphics for other documents such as newsletter, bulletins, pamphlets, letterhead stationary, banners, and signs.

1.If possible, let students use video equipment to make presentations, to create commercials, to announce their new product on the "Tonight Show", or to interview "the man on the street" about his reaction to their product.

2.The culmination of the project should be group presentations of campaigns to classmates -- live or on video.

The method of evaluation of this lesson would depend on the amount of time and the number of related classes that were involved. The teacher should look for indicators of achievement during presentations. Group products or portfolios can be evaluated. Since this project could be interdisciplinary involving computer literacy, career development, and communication skills, the student might receive credit in several areas for different facets of the project.

Prerequisite Skills: Minimal computer skills are required. AppleWorks is very user- friendly, and most students adapt quickly to the pull-down screen format.

by Jane Neal, Brandon High School, Hillsborough
Florida Center for Instructional Technology ©2000
University of South Florida, Tampa, USA