Sylphie's Squizzes: Terrific Toothpaste

article by Zoë Disher , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Learning intention: 

I am learning to understand the way advertising is used to persuade people to use products so that I can use effective persuasive methods in my work. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can identify aspects of an advertisement that are designed to attract and persuade an audience 
  • I can create an effective advertisement for a product 
  • I can give and receive constructive feedback 


After reading the article, ask students to recall what kind of materials have people used throughout history to clean their teeth. Answers should include: 

  • Burnt animal parts 
  • Salt, pepper and mint 
  • Crushed eggshells and pumice 
  • Charcoal and brick dust 

Discuss what effect this may have had on the way teeth looked and felt. Inform students that they will be creating an advertisement for one of these ‘products’. 

Have students research examples of toothpaste advertisements by visiting relevant websites and if planning time allows, ask students to bring in any toothpaste packaging they may have at home. 

Pair students up and ask them to discuss the following questions with their partner: 

  • What is the company wanting to communicate about this product? 
  • How have they made the packaging appealing to buyers 
  • What words do they use to convey their message? 
  • What visual images are used to make their point? 
  • Do they have a slogan? 

Draw their attention to the illustration in the text and ask how it is being advertised (name, picture etc). Students should then come up with their own toothpaste advertisement to promote one of the ‘toothpaste’ types from the text. To do this they should consider: 

  • How they will convey their message 
  • What their slogan will be 
  • What their accompanying image will be 
  • What the toothpaste packaging will look like and how it can be incorporated into the advertisement. 

Students should begin by creating a brainstorm or mind map of their ideas in their book and use this to create an advertisement either on a blank sheet of paper or design software such as Canva or PowerPoint. 

If time allows, have students share their advertisements with the class and give constructive feedback to each other based on the effectiveness of the messaging and the creativity of their designs. 


Assessment for/as learning: 

To assist with independent construction of the persuasive text, self-assessment or teacher assessment refer to The School Magazine Persuasive Text Assessment Rubrics