This essay explores ways television commercials can teach both media literacy skills and social studies content knowledge. Because of their brevity and concise messages, commercials offer teachers a wide assortment of engaging, content focused lesson topics that can be used to introduce new ideas, as writing or discussion prompts to further explore concepts, or as creative media projects to assess the content and media literacy knowledge. I examine different approaches to integrate commercials into social studies classes and include resources to guide students through deconstructing commercials, understanding advertisers’ creative techniques and appeals, and creating their own commercials.
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Nowell, S. D. (2019). Commercials as social studies curriculum: Bridging content & media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(3), 91-97. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2019-11-3-9