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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: The Seal Campaign

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Social Studies, Geography, Media Studies, Business Studies
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 2 to 3 lessons
Purpose: To identify and explore the issues involved in a major societal debate
Summary: Students create an advertisement to either promote a seal product or advocate against the seal hunt.

Before Exploring

Ask: Why do hunters hunt seal? What are some products made from seals? List as many products as students can name. Ask: Why are some people or groups against the seal hunt? List all reasons given.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Pelts, Pups and Protest: The Atlantic Seal Hunt on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have students work in small groups, selecting one of the two topics below. Make sure that both topics are evenly covered.

List all seal products that you learn about through browsing the site.

List all the reasons why some people and groups oppose the hunt.

After exploring the site, groups that focused on seal products will design a visual advertisement for one of the products on their list. Groups that focused on those who oppose the hunt will design a poster to convince others that the seal hunt should be stopped. Groups will decide if their advertisement will appear in the newspaper, on a poster, or online. They should create a slogan and be aware of the effect of design elements such as pictures, fonts, colours, shapes, and sizes, on their message.

Revisit and Reflect

Each group will present its advertisement to the class. Ask: Which ads were effective? Why? Did any of the ads change your way of thinking or give you new ideas? How and why? What role does the media play in major societal issues like the seal hunt debate?


Students can ask The Canadian Sealers Association and Greenpeace for additional information about the seal hunt and seal products. Using the additional information, students can either revise their advertisement or create an advertisement for the topic they haven't already covered.