Advertising, digital advertising, body image, and social media teaching resources for 7- 16-year olds

Media Smart, a UK non-profit, provides free media literacy teaching resources for 7-16 year olds.

“The more that the media mediate everything in society – work, education, information, civic participation, social relationships and more – the more vital it is that people are informed about and critically able to judge what’s useful or misleading, how they are regulated, when media can be trusted, and what commercial or political interests are at stake. In short, media literacy is needed not only to engage with the media but to engage with society through the media”.

Professor Sonia Livingstone

Media Smart, a UK non-profit, provides free media literacy teaching resources for 7-16 year olds. These resources focus on topics like advertising, digital advertising and social media. From explaining what an advert is to designing your own advert, the lesson plans are engaging as well as educational.

Media Smart also provides resources and a short film on the effects of the media on young people’s body image. These free teaching materials are being used in school assemblies and lessons. And they’re used as activities and presentations in youth organisations.

Also available are free parent and guardian guides. It’s important for adults as well as young people to be digital as well as media literate.

Digital Advertising 9 – 11 yrs

These teaching materials delve into digital and social media advertising. Advertising has evolved considerably over recent years, parents and teachers are telling that they’re finding it hard to keep up to date, and help their children navigate the digital space. The resources will guide you and your students through the different ways advertisers use digital platforms and why and how they differ. Examples used include social media, gaming, video, celebrities and vloggers, and paid search advertising.

Body Image & Advertising 11 – 14 yrs

All of Media Smart resources are gender inclusive, but research produced by Credos, highlighted the need to create educational materials that focus on the effects of negative body image on boys (as many are more girl focused). The resources were supported by a short film called the Boys’ Biggest Conversation in partnership with First News and Dr Ranj who spoke to secondary school boys about the way they felt about their appearance and why… Media Smart also provides free parent and guardian guides to ensure the subject can be addressed at home as well as at school.

Body Image & Advertising 9 – 11 yrs

Supported by the UK Government Equalities Office, these teaching materials look at how we compare ourselves with people in the media and how this can influence our body image. They show you how adverts and images can be digitally enhanced to give a different idea of what’s “real” and help children be more resilient to what they see.

An Introduction to Advertising 7 – 11 yrs

These introductory lessons help children understand what an advert is and why they are there. Many young people have never had this explained to them, they may not be able to distinguish between adverts and news. These lessons look at advertising across all mediums from print to digital. It also looks at the creative process behind advertising and there are several exercises on how to identify adverts and design their own.

Social Media & Advertising 11 – 16 yrs

Many young people are introduced to social media without any understanding of what they’re seeing and why. They don’t know that what they’re see is determined by their behaviour online and what details (including their age) are recorded. This resource aims to encourage students to think more deeply about: – The types of social media available to them. – The advertising they are exposed to and how to manage it. – Their relationship with social media sites, their sponsors and advertisers. – The business models that allow them to access a whole range of sophisticated services free, or at very low cost.

Media Smart is a not-for-profit company that creates free educational materials for schools and youth organisations, for teachers, parents and guardians, to help young people think critically about the advertising they come across in their daily lives.

The materials use real and current examples of advertising that we’re all familiar with to help teach core media literacy skills, and the organisation is funded by the UK advertising industry.