In this lesson, students will take social action by creating a print advertisement to educate their peers about the health impacts of sugar.
They will conduct market research to establish existing attitudes about sugar consumption, then distil their findings into three main viewpoints.
Students will watch up to three examples of screen advertisements aimed at changing people’s minds about sugar, then use the viewpoints identified in their research to inform their own print advertisement’s key message. Students will develop and tell a ‘story’ about sugar, then design and publish a print advertisement to tell that story. They will write a short paragraph that explains the choices they made in creating their print advertisement, then publicly display this explanation alongside their advertisement. The lesson concludes with students reflecting, in writing, on the effectiveness of advertising in changing people’s minds.
We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.
- understand how to use print advertising to persuade
- establish existing viewpoints on an issue
- tell a story about an issue in a print advertisement
- incorporate visual and language techniques in an advertisement, and explain their choices
Lesson guides and printables
- This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – English – Years 9-10
- Time required: The parts of this lesson will need to be delivered over a couple of single and double period sessions
- Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to High – oversee student surveys and support students in making their advertisements.
To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here
To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Market research survey
- Paper, pencils, markers and other supplies for students to use to create a print advertisement by hand
- OR a computer with design software and a printer
These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association. Guardians of the Gums was written by Bee Healthy Stories; if you would like to see more of their stories, head to beehealthystories.com.au.
SugarByHalf (https://www.sugarbyhalf.com/) promotes action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that we can live better, stronger and healthier lives.
Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and ability to learn. Poor diet choices ultimately mean that this generation of children could be the first in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Much of the added sugar in our diet comes from the processed foods and drinks we consume. On average, we consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenagers consume more than 20 teaspoons per day. The World Health Organisation says we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons for good health. To put that in perspective, there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. If something has 20 grams of sugar, that's 5 teaspoons of sugar.
This English lesson focuses on developing the skills and knowledge students need to critically consider messages about food and drink they are exposed to, thereby equipping them to be able to make healthy choices.
Talking about health
- Be mindful of students who may experience weight stigma. Some students may be sensitive to conversations around weight, body size or shape. Terms including obesity, weight issues, weight-problem and fat can be stigmatising for some people because they assign blame. It is important to note individual preferences around language vary. Research has shown using the terms ‘weight’, ‘weight gain’, ‘healthy weight’, ‘unhealthy weight’, and ‘high BMI’ are preferred as better alternatives.
- Be mindful about how you use the word ‘diet’. We recommend focussing students on the positive impacts of healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles which help us to have stronger bodies and minds, feel good and sleep well.
- Steer students away from any focus on appearances by communicating that appearance does not determine your worth. We recommend the fact sheets from the Butterfly Foundation on body image tips at
- Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc.