Activity Introduction

Ever heard someone say “they weaselled out of that cleverly”? Weasels may be getting a bad wrap here, but in this activity, you’ll work out how the experts cleverly use ‘weasel words’ to get themselves out of trouble. Then you’ll get to try it. Just don’t get caught! 

Some kids will be able to work on this activity with minimal support.

Ideal for: Lower Secondary Years 7 – 9

Themes: 

  • think and connect 

Time required: 30 minutes

Curriculum connections: English, Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Complete lesson for classroom teachers:

SugarByHalf – Watch out for Weasel Words! – English – Years 9 & 10

Resources Required

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Learning@Home from Cool Australia

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with SugarByHalf, a not-for-profit organisation, who promote action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that Australians live better, stronger and healthier lives. Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Student Worksheet

Healthwashing And Weasel Words - Activity Instructions

Ever heard someone say “they weaselled out of that cleverly”? Weasels may be getting a bad wrap here, but in this activity, you’ll work out how the experts cleverly use ‘weasel words’ to get themselves out of trouble. Then you’ll get to try it. Just don’t get caught!

Part A: What Are ‘Weasel Words?’

Step 1. Do you know what it means to ‘weasel out’ of something? It means to avoid doing something in a dishonest way, or by cleverly persuading/manipulating someone. With that in mind, what do you think weasel words might mean? Write your ideas below.

Step 2. Weasel words are often used by politicians and advertisers. Look at the paragraphs below and underline some examples where the speaker/writer is saying things that they don’t really have to back up with evidence. The first is underlined for you.

Need some help? Look for:

  • Words that aren’t measurable (for example, ‘better’ - how much better is not said)
  • Talk about th
...
 
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