Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students, but they will benefit from having someone to discuss their findings with.

Students will consider the ethical dilemmas inherent in advertising during a pandemic. After reading an article about current advertising and COVID-19, students will classify vocabulary used to express ethical judgement. They will make connections between their own ethical beliefs and those of the author, to evaluate a range of real-world advertisements. Finally, they will share their conclusions with someone else and consider areas of agreement and disagreement.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 9 English:

  • Analyse text structures and language features of literary texts, and make relevant comparisons with other texts (ACELT1772)

Year 10 English:

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of COVID-19. How to move forward, when a vaccine is to be developed (or may never be) is now the focus of many governments.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required

[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

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


Student Worksheet

Ethics And Advertising - Making A Profit In A Pandemic - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will learn language for expressing ethical judgement
  • You will connect with your own ethical principles (with regards to advertising)
  • You will evaluate the ethics of a variety of advertisements.

Success criteria:

  • You can classify vocabulary into categories based on strength of judgement
  • You can apply your own ethics to advertising
  • You can use your ethical principles to judge texts
  • You can share your opinion and identify areas of agreement/disagreement with others.


Pivot to pandemic: how advertisers are using (and abusing) the coronavirus to sell

Kelly Choong, University of the Sunshine Coast

Pete Evans came under fire again last week for fobbing off a A$15,000 machine touted to treat multiple ailments, including coronavirus. The BioCharger NG, according to Evans’s website, is a “hybrid subtle energy revitalisation platfor

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