Thursday, February 14, 2013

Peer Pressure Lesson Using Super Bowl Commercials

My classroom guidance lessons are so much more effective when I take the time to create engaging lessons that are meaningful to the grade level I’m teaching.  So, this week with my 5th graders we talked about peer pressure using the Super Bowl Commercials!  As an added bonus, I introduced the students to the concept of media literacy which is a 5th grade SOL topic in Virginia this year! 

I started the lesson by reviewing the concept of peer pressure and discussing HOW students pressure you into doing things you may not want to do.  Some responses were: saying you’re a chicken, using humor, pressuring you by asking over and over, telling you that everyone is doing, etc.  Then we talked about how you have to be smarter than the person peer pressuring you and recognize that they are actually using strategies to get you to do something you know is not right. 

Then, I told the students that peer pressure is very similar to what advertising companies do to pressure you into buying certain products.  Big companies use strategies like humor, repetition, telling stories, making you feel like everyone is doing it, and using famous people to pressure you into buying their stuff.  One way you can be smart about peer pressure and watching commercials is to answer questions like, “Who wants you to do it?” “Why are they targeting you?” and “What strategies are they using to pressure you?”

So, then, we watched 5 Super Bowl commercials that I had “pre-screened,” and we discussed each of these questions in relation to each commercial.  The ones we watched were: Tide Joe Montana Stain, Hyundai Team, Oreo Whisper Fight, Got Milk, and VW Get Happy.   They can all be found on this website.  Here is the handout I used.  The handout is only made for 4 commercials  We did the first one as a whole class.  This lesson was a huge success, and it really helped students understand peer pressure from a different perspective.  


  1. Great idea! I'll be doing peer pressure soon with my older students, too and this lesson will definitely be incorporated. Thanks!

  2. My colleague and I just found your blog and you have great ideas. We were excited to find this idea because we want to do a similar lesson. Maybe I am just not seeing it, but where is the handout you mention? You also said all of the commercials are here? Thanks for clarification and the great ideas.

    1. Oops! I'm sorry, I forgot to link the handout. I will link it tomorrow because it is on my school computer. I listed the titles of the of the commercials I used in the post, and I just searched them on YouTube. A hint would be to pull each commercial up and have them ready to play before your students come in, and stop them right before they finish because sometimes YouTube can show some fairly inappropriate pictures. But, if you are careful, you can play them with no problem.

  3. Thanks so much for linking the handout. I will search for the commercials on Youtube.

  4. Jennifer,
    The handout has been added. So sorry this took so long, but now its all ready to go. Please let me know if you have any problems retrieving it. Thanks!

  5. Can you direct me to the link for the handout?
    Maybe it is just right in front of me, but I can't seem to locate
    Just found your are doing a great job!


  6. Hello!

    This seems like an awesome activity! I was wondering if it would be possible to send me the handout? I wanted to use it to try and generate some ideas : ) Thanks!!

  7. Hello. Will you share the handout please? I can't seem to find it. Thank you! Great lesson!