Identifying Advertisements on a Webpage
Purpose: Distinguishing between webpage content and advertisements is an important critical thinking skill, especially since many educational websites contain ads. You can find this skill, described as “Categorize items or ideas and articulate rationale” on page 42 of the Transitions Integration Framework.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Materials: a projector and computer with an Internet connection (or printouts from websites), copies of the Finding Ads on Websites worksheet (see attachment below)
Prep: Choose websites to look at during class and for students to look at while filling out the worksheet. Some suggestions are listed in the procedure below.
1. Teach and/or review any necessary vocabulary related to identifying advertisements, such as the following: ad, advertisement, sponsor, animation, font, and topic.
2. Use a projector to show a webpage with ads on it, such as a weather report (or print it if a projector is not available). Point to an ad and elicit from students what it is. Ask if students can identify other ads.
3. Elicit from students how they already know that something is an ad.
4. Using the weather website to show examples, teach students the other ways listed on the Finding Ads on Websites worksheets. In addition, explain that ads are usually at the top of the page in a rectangle, near the bottom of the page in a rectangle, and on the right of the page in a square. However, they can be in other places too. If necessary, use another website, such as another news site, with ads on it to show students other attributes of ads.
5. Show students the Finding Ads on Websites worksheet. Demonstrate how to fill it out about the website example that you’ve been looking at.
6. Show another website and invite several students to fill out another copy of the worksheet with input from the class.
7. Assign students to work in pairs and give each pair a copy of the Finding Ads on Websites worksheet. Either have pairs students each work on a computer or give them printed copies from websites (on a computer is preferable). Assign each pair a website. Here are some possible sites to assign:
8. Students fill out their worksheets. They compare answers with another pair that looked at the same website.
Optional Follow Up: Students work in pairs to design and draw a website about their school that also has ads in it. They can keep the design simple and use shapes and lines to show where text, pictures and ads would go.