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Tonight's Homework - Watch Cartoons

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Grade 2
Speaking and Listening Standard 1


Utah LessonPlans
Grace Wayman


Students will learn about the different forms of media, such as newspapers, radio, and television.




Additional Resources


  • Getting the News, (Newbridge, Read to Learn: Social Studies--Communities Series, Item #821956), available from


Background for Teachers

Students need to understand the meaning of the term “media” according to this definition:

“All the means of communication, such as newspapers, radio, and television that provide the public with news, entertainment, etc., usually containing advertising.”

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn
In small groups, complete the sheet What Product Am I?

Instructional Procedures
Day 1

  1. Put a concept you are teaching to music and teach it to them. Discuss how simple it was to remember the concept taught. Talk about why music is used in media and connect to the invitation to learn.
  2. Listen to clips taken from the CD. Talk about how each music clip makes students feel. Talk about how different advertisers use music to promote their product. Example: slow music for selling a relaxing vacation, lively for a cruise, fast for sports equipment, etc.

Day 2

  1. Create a list of commercials from the homework for each program. Discuss the similarities and differences. Talk about why they are different.

Day 3

  1. Have two cereals for students to taste; one name brand and one generic brand (e.g., Froot Loops and Fruity O’s OR Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cinnamon Toasties).
    1. Have students choose which cereal they think they will like the best just by looking at the containers. Don’t taste yet! Make a “skewer” graph. Discuss results.
    2. Give each student a plastic glove and have him/her take a small handful of each brand of cereal (labeled A or B), not knowing which is which. Students taste the cereal and write down A or B for the cereal they preferred. Make a second skewer graph. Discuss the differences between the two graphs. Why? Point out that we frequently purchase products that we are familiar with, whether they are better tasting or not. That is one reason advertising is successful.
  2. Place a large paper cutout of the FDA Food Pyramid on the floor. Have the class predict what they think is in Froot Loops and write it on the board. Then pass out the Froot Loop Ingredient slips and have them place them under the correct section of the pyramid. They will be amazed that Froot Loops contain lots of sugar and oil, but do not contain fruit! Does the title imply that they do? Again, discuss how the media has influenced our thinking.

Day 4

  1. From the Day 2 homework list, select the commercials that advertise food.
  2. Sort those commercials onto the food pyramid. Talk about how the media can negatively affects food choices.

Day 5

  1. Go through a current newspaper. List the kinds of information that can be found in a newspaper. Share with them several interesting articles.

Example: weather forecast, sports scores, informational advertising, etc.

Discuss what was learned and how that information could be used. Discuss how media can affect us in a positive way.

Day 6

  1. Create a commercial or an advertisement to persuade others to buy your product. Use the Product List (e.g., jingle, poster, video, brochure, magazine advertisement, etc.).


  • Discuss with students what they want for their birthday or Christmas. Students draw picture and/or write a list. Did they learn about any of these objects from watching television commercials? Commercials are a type of media that can be very appealing and convincing.
  • Use Getting the News to facilitate a discussion about how media has changed over time.
  • Use PBS or ITV stations to teach concepts. Discuss how television can be a very positive form of media.

Family Connections

  • Watch a program together as a family and discuss how the media affects our buying habits.
  • As a family, research a topic of interest on the Internet. Show students how to avoid negative sites.

Assessment Plan

  • Journal: What types of media are there and how does it affect me?
  • Students write down what media means and give several examples.
  • Day 6 activity
  • Homework: Before beginning this unit, assign each student to watch 30 minutes of a cartoon show and 30 minutes of news. Have the student make two lists of the commercials, one from each program. (To be used in day 2.)


Research Basis

Hurst, J.B. (1972). Discovery teaching and increased student motivation. ERIC #ED088807

Abstract of research pointing out that significant differences were found between initial and post instructional student interest in a subject when discovery learning was used.

Levy, Yiftach. (n.d.). The effects of background music on learning: a review of recent literature. Education 690 Syllabus: San Diego State University. San Diego, CA (Available at

An online article citing research confirming that loud, cacophonous music impedes learning, while some music may be helpful in the learning process.

Roberts, D.F., (1999). Kids and Media @ the New Millennium: A Kaiser Family Foundation Report. A Comprehensive National Analysis of Children’s Media Use ERIC #ED445369

This study examined media use patterns among a large, nationally representative sample of children ages 2-18, and explored how children choose and interact with the whole array of media available to them, including television, movies, computers, music, video games, radio, magazines, books, and newspapers.

Created: 10/05/2005
Updated: 02/05/2018