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Believe it or Not?
Source: Council for Economic Education (EconEdLink) | Type: Lesson

Advertisements can tell consumers about prices and other information that may help them in the decisions they make about what to buy. But students also should know that ads are slanted by sellers to show a product in the best light. This lesson reveals to students how advertisers use words and images to make goods and services look their best. To protect consumers and make sure that competition among sellers is fair in the marketplace, the federal government requires that factual claims in ads be backed up with proof. Still, it is usually okay for sellers to talk only about the positives and ignore the negatives of what they are selling. Another common trick is to use exaggerated claims called “puffery.” It is up to the consumers to separate factual claims from opinions and exaggerations. This lesson challenges students to create a set of tips that could help consumers to make this distinction. Being able to tell the difference between factual claims and puffery or opinions can help consumers to make smart choices and avoid market disappointments.




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Fun and Interesting Lesson    May 9, 2010
By: McQuinn, A
Believe It or Not? - This lesson was fun and interesting to teach. However, it was necessary to have computers available for each student. The lesson had great links to quizzes and information on the Internet, which worked best if students had their own computers.

The students found the activities to be entertaining because of the interactive websites and quizzes on clothing, food and toys listed in the lesson. The concept of how companies prepared their products for advertising were eye opening, and the students were amazed by the means in which items were prepared. Students enjoyed finding out new information and were amused by the sites. The facts and quizzes on each of the sites kept the interest of all the students in my class.

Activity 1: Fact or Opinion? – This activity was wonderful because of the statements used and the ten question online quiz. The results of the quiz could easily be used to check for understanding of fact and opinion.

Activity 2: Packages are Advertising, Too! – This activity allowed the students to complete questions online about what the advertisements were really advertising. After each question is answered, an explanation was given to the students about each of the ads.

The Assessment Activity and Extension Activity were very easy for the students to complete. The students loved learning about how tricks are used to advertise food.

I highly recommend this lesson for students and teachers. It was well written and engaged the learners throughout all of the activities.