· To introduce students to packaging and advertising

· To teach students how to analyze what information about a product is important to know


· Identify 3 similar products of different brands that can be used to demonstrate packaging and information

NOTE: For explanation of this activity, potato chips were used. Other products that could be used include cola drinks, cheese snacks, or chewing gum.

· A handout to guide students in what information to consider and/or how to rate each product

· Small cups of water

· Bowls to hold chips


· 30-45 minutes over several days for younger students


1. Student groups are given 3 similar products in their original packaging/container.

2. A list of characteristics to record information on is also distributed to each group.

3. Ask students to look at the 3 similar size bags of potato chips.

4. Ask students to discuss the various information requested and fill out the information (For the very young student, this can be done collectively in the class with groups giving the teacher the information to record.)

5. Open packaging and display chips in a bowl. Have students discuss the size, color, and smell of the chips and record the information collectively or by groups.

6. For more capable students, have them record the first 3 ingredients on the package. Discuss where potatoes come in the ranking of ingredients and why this knowledge is important.

7. Older students might also look at the calorie content, carbohydrate amount, and sugar count and compare among the products. (The handout can be adjusted for recording this information. e.g. use weight to cost ratio.)

8. Students are asked to taste each chip and rank as to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices based on their individual preference. (Have water available between tastes to cleanse the palate.) Graph the classroom results.


· Discuss why some stores give samples/tasting opportunities near where products are sold.

· Did the information you gathered influence your preference? If your preference was influenced, why was it and how was it?


Name of Student/Group______________________________________


Brand name 1

Brand name 2

Brand name 3

How many colors are there on the package?

How many shapes are on package?

Are there pictures on package? What kind?

How much does it say it weighs?

OPTIONAL: How much does it actually weigh?

List the first 3 ingredients

What is cost of each package?

How do you rank these chips as to color? (darkest to lightest)

How do you rank these chips as to size? (largest to smallest)

Which chip do you like best? (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

What did you learn from this activity?