Be Ad Aware

It’s tough to go against the grain of consumer culture. Our society glorifies a seemingly endless cycle of spending and acquiring more and more—a cycle that can leave us feeling stressed and like we never have enough, all while emptying out our pocketbooks. Resisting the message of “buy, buy, buy” is hard enough for adults, let alone for children. The pressure is beyond intense. Some estimates say that children between the ages of two and eleven see more than twenty-five thousand ads a year on TV—and that’s in addition to the ads they take in online, in video games, and in print. What’s more, according to Common Sense Media, children under the age of seven have a hard time distinguishing between advertising and entertainment.

This is why it’s so important to educate children early about what an ad is, where ads appear, and what kinds of messages they contain. This valuable series from the trusted First Step Nonfiction brand does just that. Its carefully leveled text is perfect for introducing K–2 readers to ads:




And because advertising pressure doesn’t stop as we get older—in fact, if anything, it gets even more intense—here are some resources for educating older readers (and perhaps even we adult readers!) about media, different kinds of ads, and the techniques that they employ: