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Teacher Shares Media Literacy Lesson Plans With Super Bowl Ads

Teacher Shares Media Literacy Lesson Plans With Super Bowl Ads

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans will be sitting in front of their television screens to watch the Super Bowl, and educators will take this event as an opportunity to teach their students about media literacy. 

Frank W. Baker, media literacy education consultant, shares ways that teachers can use Super Bowl Ads to teach media literacy in their classroom in an article on

For many years, I have hosted a web page, Using Super Bowl Ads In The Classroom, because I wanted to help educators who haven’t thought about using these popular culture texts in instruction. You might notice that I use the word 'texts.' TV and other video commercials should be considered as texts because the present information that students can learn to scrutinize closely [analyze] and deconstruct. In fact, the National Council of Teachers of English [NCTE] has long recommended that teachers include 'non-print' texts in the classroom.

In 2015, Baker wrote, "the Super Bowl game will be viewed by 100+ million people [in the US alone] and the cost of a 30-second ad is estimated at $4.5 million this time around [up 7%]. At this stage of the run-up to the February 1 game, a lot of attention [on social media, in the press, and around the office water cooler] has already been given to the game and the commercials. How can these expensive, high-concept advertisements, which will appear over the course of a 7-hour broadcast, be used in the classroom?"

One way to use Super Bowl Ads in the classroom is to help students think like advertisers.

When I speak to teachers about advertising, I encourage them to get their students to think as if THEY were advertisers. If you are going to promote a product, then you must know:

  •  who is my audience?
  • what are the best ways to reach them?
  •  what techniques will I use to get and hold their attention?
  • what celebrity or high profile event can I associate with?
  • what television programs & websites does my audience follow closely?
  • what do I want them to know about my product?
  •  how can I get them to make a purchase?

"Years ago, I developed a series of media literacy/critical thinking questions and posted them on my Super Bowl ads webpage," Baker wrote. "You’ll find several current links there, including this story about a non-profit in New York that lets youth remix Super Bowl ads in real time. And there’s even, a website that includes information about the commercials featured during the professional football championship game in past years, as well as news about the 2015 commercials [teacher discretion advised]."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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