Can You Sell Your Cereal?

Writing Lesson Plan

Students will create and "sell" their own cereal product after observing cereal commercials and box covers. They will become familiar with the type of language used to sell products, as well as the marketing techniques used for creating visual images on cereal boxes and in commercials.

variety of cereal boxes (enough for each student), several taped cereal commercials, white butcher paper, materials for drawing, tape/glue


  1. Have students observe cereal boxes in small groups. Have them brainstorm things that the boxes have in common.
  2. After doing this for a few minutes, ask your kids to look for things on the box that would make people want to buy that cereal. They should also discuss the audience the box is intended for. If the selling feature is that it is healthy like Total, the audience is for adults concerned with meeting all of the suggested daily nutrition. You may want to give a few examples.
  3. As a whole group discuss what the class came up with. Make a T-Chart on the board, one side for selling words and phrases, and the other for selling graphics.
  4. Watch several T.V. commercials for different kinds of cereal. Discuss what the advertisers do to make people want to buy their product. Make another T-Chart on the board with the same topics. Have your students discuss things that they noticed in the commercials.
  5. Divide students in groups of 3-4. Have them create their own cereal concept, design a cereal box, and come up with a 1-minute commercial to sell their product.
  6. To make the box, they can simply cover an actual cereal box with white butcher paper and attach with tape or glue. They should include all of the features of a normal cereal box.
  7. The commercial should be presented to the class in order to "sell" their product. If possible, tape these; the kids would love to watch themselves.
  8. After all the groups have presented their products, have a secret ballot vote to see which cereal concept/commercial was most popular.

Which product "sold" best? Have class discuss why. Have your students write about their product: what features about it would make it "sell-able" and why. They should also address the winning product and discuss why they think it was so successful.

Notice which students understand the concept of advertising. What are the reasons they give in their paper for making their product "sell-able?" Are the cereal boxes convincing? What do the students think they could have done better? Do they like their product?

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