The Federal Trade Commission has a terrific new online game for kids that will teach them to understand the difference between someone trying to tell them something and someone trying to sell them something. It’s called Admongo.
The FTC’s message to parents:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has created the Admongo campaign to help teach kids about advertising. The campaign has four parts:
* a game-based website at Admongo.gov;
* sample ads that can be used in the classroom;
* a free curriculum for use in the 5th and 6th grades, developed with Scholastic, Inc. and
* teacher training videos.
Together, these tools can help teach kids basic ad literacy skills.
As a parent, you can be a valuable partner in this campaign to help equip your kids with the critical thinking skills they need to be smarter consumers. With your help, kids can learn to ask three key “critical thinking” questions when they encounter advertising:
* Who’s responsible for the ad?
* What is the ad actually saying?
* What does it want you to buy, do, or think?
By applying the information they learn through this campaign, your kids will be able to recognize ads, understand them, and make smarter decisions as they navigate the commercial world.
The site also has resources for teachers to help them include media literacy in the curriculum.
The game is not enough to teach kids the difference between genuine opinion and advertising, but if it inspires conversations with parents that are reinforced throughout the week as we model our own responses to the messages in the media, that will remind not only kids but the rest of the family of how insidious these messages can be.
Many thanks to Pat Goslee for showing me this site.