Reading between the lines

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia. Suitable for ages 8-10.

This activity supports your primary school child's skills in:

  • finding meaning in signs and advertisements
  • understanding simple techniques used to influence readers.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Decode ads

Advertisements are part of your child's environment – on television, at the movies, in magazines, in the mailbox, on billboards, and of course, on the internet. Learning how to decode all these ads is an important literacy skill.

To give your child some practice, point out an ad and have a conversation about:

  • how the ad captures your attention
  • what the ad is promoting – eg a product, a service, or a message such as 'eat healthy foods' or 'vote for X'
  • what persuasive words the advertiser has used
  • whether images are being used to make the ad more persuasive
  • what deals or discounts are being offered
  • whether there are limits or special conditions.

Creating their own ads also gives your child insight into how advertising works. This is even more powerful if your child is making the ad to get something they want.

So if your child is bugging you for a bigger TV, or trying to sell you on a Sunday sleepover, think about suggesting they make an ad to persuade you. (Only do this when you are willing to say yes, so that you can reward your child for their effort)

Go online

For online reinforcement, Reading between the lines: Neighbourhood and Read between the lines: park will give your child practice at:

  • working out the literal meaning of a sign
  • interpreting the purpose of a sign
  • drawing a conclusion.

We’ve adapted this content from Learning Potential. You can find the original article here. Check out more of their full range of practical support, tools and tips here.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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