A Comic Strip on Responsible Consumption

Objective :

  • Become aware of the internal and external factors that spur consumption;
  • Discover individual and collective actions that encourage responsible consumption;
  • Recognize advertising strategies used to sell products;
  • Differentiate wants from needs;
  • Develop the reflex of researching a purchase before deciding to buy.

Description :

Information sheets help students discover the many factors that may lead them to consume. Students create a comic strip on the factors that spur their consumption and on potential solutions.

Equipment :

Introduction :

 

Break the class down into eight teams.

Ask the teams to identify the reasons why they consume. Where applicable, specify that consumption is primarily intended to meet our needs. Add that it also stems from the influence exerted on consumers.

Question students about what affects their consumer choices. Examples of influence: a desire to be like everyone else, having enough money, pressure from friends or relatives, pressure from advertising, a desire to be fashionable, a desire to reward yourself, etc.

Tell students that the proposed activity will help them discover the factors that foster consumption and find ways to be responsible consumers. The outcome of the activity is a two-line comic strip.

 

 

Explanations :

Start the activity by letting students know that they are often specifically targeted by companies and advertisers. Encourage discussion with the following questions:

  • Did you know that companies take aim at young people like you with merchandise tied to certain sports or movies? In fact, companies admit that when they reach kids, they also indirectly reach the entire family. Just think of the movie figurines you can get by eating at a restaurant or by buying a certain brand of cereal.
  • Do you think you’re the victim of advertising attacks? What makes you think so?
  • Do you think you’re immune to the effects of advertising, friends, and family? What makes you think so?

Instructions :

 

Give each team one of the four sections from the What Pushes Us to Consume and Happiness Guaranteed or Your Money Back! documents.

Ask students to read the content they have been given.

Invite them to discuss the question at the end of each section.

Ask teams to use group drawings to illustrate one or more situations presented on their sheet.

As a group, ask every team's spokesperson to present the drawing(s) to the rest of the class. Invite the other teams to guess the topic presented.

When it has been identified, ask the team spokesperson to summarize the information on his or her team’s sheet for the whole group.

Next, ask each team to lead a short debate with the entire class based on the question at the end of the sheet sections.

Ask teams to switch their sheet section with another team. For each situation presented, ask the teams to imagine solutions that would prevent overconsumption and would be considered responsible forms of consumption. Guide students based on the following solutions:

 

Means

Concrete examples

Discuss

 

Share

 

Think critically

 

Reduce consumption

 

Reuse

 

Recycle

 

Be yourself

 

Differentiate needs from wants

 

Redistribute

 

Create

 

Rethink your personal values

 

Restructure economic systems

 

Conclusion :

 

Working as a group, invite each team to present the solutions they came up with. Write them down on the board. Ask other students to complete the solutions, as necessary.

Distribute to the various teams the drawings made during the observation phase. For each of the situations illustrated, ask students to create another collective drawing presenting the proposed solution.

Ask the teams to stick the two drawings side by side on cardboard and have them select a title for their comic strip.