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.