YOUTH MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT is a media-literacy curriculum that aims to prevent adolescent substance use among 13-to-15-year-olds by increasing their knowledge of advertising techniques used to sell alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) products; developing their counter-arguing and critical-thinking skills in response to ATOD messages; and helping them actively apply these skills and techniques to create youth-driven, anti-ATOD messages.
This program is rated as EFFECTIVE by the National Registry for Effective Evidence-Based Programs. Effective for improving knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about substance use.
The Youth Message Development (YMD) media-literacy curriculum aims to prevent adolescent substance use among 13-to-15-year-olds by increasing their knowledge of advertising techniques used to sell alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) products; developing their counter-arguing and critical-thinking skills in response to ATOD messages; and helping them actively apply these skills and techniques to create youth-driven, anti-ATOD messages. The curriculum content is grounded in media literacy and social-cognitive theories, and guided by experiential-learning principles. Youth learn about advertising and how it is designed to influence behavior, then critically analyze existing ads and produce their own counter-advertising ads. The activities are designed to be engaging and encourage collaborations and discussions among participants. The curriculum incorporates ads for generating discussion and analysis, activities to increase involvement, and small-group structure to facilitate learning from peers. The curriculum comprises four lessons with corresponding activities that focus on 1) media reach and persuasion strategies used by advertisers to sell ATOD products; 2) claims used in ATOD messages, and counterarguments used in anti-ATOD messages; 3) production techniques used by advertisers including setting, colors, font size, and object placement; and 4) the active application of content learned in lessons 1–3 to the development of a poster that includes an anti-substance use message. The four lessons can be taught in one, 90-minute session; separated across four, 20- to-25-minute sessions; or two, 45-minute lessons to groups of up to 30 students. Additional youth involvement and application can be encouraged by including optional activities (e.g., having youth locate advertisements that illustrate the concepts presented).
Two-year license. Order “digital download” to receive immediately or contact REAL Prevention to order program materials on a portable thumb drive.
The YMD bundle ($350) includes a 2-year site license for unlimited use. No workbooks to purchase separately! The bundle includes downloadable digital files for you to print as needed. The documents include:
- Teacher’s Guide with all four lessons
- Student Handouts
- Powerpoint Presentation