Happy Buy Nothing Day!


Link to Teacher's page.doc

By Constantinos Kaltsoudas, Kim Sabrina McClatchie, Joanie Phaneuf, Debbie Psillos




Over the past few weeks, we learned about how humans affect the environment by the things that they buy, eat, and consume. We also learned about how humans can make choices that hurt the environment, and how they can sometimes make choices that do not hurt the environment.  For example, drinking water from a glass or a fountain, instead of a plastic bottle like the ones we buy in supermarkets, can limit the 3 BILLION plastic bottles that go directly to landfills.  In the next five lessons, we will learn about another way that we can tell people NOT to pollute the environment.


In this SPEAQ-quest, you will get step by step instructions to make your very own Buy Nothing Day poster! Make sure you do every lesson to get closer to your Poster. The poster you create will be posted in class for all to see!

Have Fun and Good Luck!


Process:  leading to a Product that responds to the Task


Lesson 1

Part 1

Instructions: In groups of three, click on the links below and watch the movie clips titledBuy Nothing Day Pig’.


Once you have finished, click the second link to learn more about the subject:


Instructions:  Discuss what you thought about the clips with your partners.


Part 2

Instructions: In groups of three, read the following texts and answer the questions.

*Note: Some vocabulary words are in blue. Click on them for a definition.

1.       Everyone reads the questions.

2.       Read the two texts.

3.       Discuss your answers.

4.       One person writes the answers in complete sentences on a separate piece of paper. At the end of class, hand in your answer sheet to the teacher. You have one class to complete this activity. 


1.      In your own words, describe Buy Nothing Day.

2.      Who created Buy Nothing Day, and why?

3.      When is it celebrated in North America?

4.      Would you celebrate this holiday?  Give a reason.


Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists.  It is celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America, and the following day internationally.  In 2008, the dates were November 28 and 29.  It was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and promoted by Adbusters magazine.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Vancouver in September 1992 as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption. In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called "Black Friday", which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States.  Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters managed to advertise Buy Nothing Day on television, but many other major television networks declined to air their ads. Soon, campaigns started appearing in United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.

While critics of the day say that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day, Adbusters states that it is not  just about changing your habits for one day, but about starting a lasting commitment to consume less, and producing less waste.

All done? Make sure your answers are complete before you move to Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Part 1 Instructions: Read the definitions and fill in the crossword.


Down â

1-     A place where you can buy the things you need.                                    

2-     The warming of the surface of a planet is called the ________ effect.           

4   A place where you go to buy items.                                                      

6-     Action of purchasing.                                                                            

7-     The act of consuming.                                                                   

9-     A synonym of trash.                                                                   

12- Nature, trees, and animals are all part of the ________.                 

13- If you owe money to people you are in ________.                                  

15- Public notices.                                                                            

17- The management of the resources of a country.                                    

18- When you are buying a lot of things you are ________ your money.                

21- Something that is essential to obtain or have.                               

22- A popular magazine title.                                                           

25- To consume to an excessive degree.                                           

27- Advertisement broadcasts on radio or television.                              

28- A necessary object or thing.                                                                 



1-     Nike, Lacoste and Guess are ________.                               

5- You watch programs on this object.                                                       

8- A person who buys things is a ________.                                         

10- The name of the planet we live on.                                                      

11- We plan a ________ in order to keep track of our money.              

14- A commercial organization.                                                        

16- When items’ prices are reduced they are on________.                  

18- ________spree.                                                                

19- A reduction of price on an item is a ________.                             

 20- The month of Buy Nothing Day.                                                 

23- What does this symbol mean?     

24- Children play with ________all the time.                                    

26- A synonym of buy.                                                                       

29- Something that is not necessary is a ________.                   

30-Littering, harsh chemicals and gases are types of ________.

Part 2

Instructions: After having viewed the movie and read the text, each group is responsible for writing a short text on Buy Nothing Day.  Using the information that you gathered from last class, each group must describe the holiday to someone who does not know what it is.  It should include a description, the date of the holiday, how it is celebrated, and why we should celebrate Buy Nothing Day.  Maximum length: 75 words. You are allowed talking about the text with others, but you are only allowed to speak in ENGLISH.  You have to complete your text during this period. You will not receive any extra time. Use a dictionary.  Once you are finished, bring it to the teacher.

*Note: The information you gather here will be used when you create your poster in a future classes.

Use the following checklist before giving the text to the teacher.

*       Title

*       Date of Buy Nothing Day

*       Who created Buy Nothing Day?

*       Why do you think it is a good holiday?

*       Did I check my spelling in a dictionary?

*       Did I ask a friend?

*       Did I re-read my text?

All done? Make sure you have all the previous elements before you move on to Lesson 3

Lesson 3

Part 1

You now have 20 minutes to complete the text you were working on last class.

Class Discussion

How to make a slogan


A slogan is a group of words that together form an expression. Slogans are different from other expressions because they are memorable, and they are repeated often.

Slogans are used in order to persuade or convince people to do things. Slogans contain action words, and are short in length. As well, they exclamation points!

Look at the following slogans. Can you tell me where they are from?

“Workers of the world, unite!” 

“57 varieties” 

“Just Do It”

I’m loving it”

“Because you’re worth it!”

“The future is friendly”


Part 2

Instructions: Now that we have looked over different slogans, you will have to create your own slogan for your poster. Your slogan should be something that people will remember. Keep in-mind, your poster will be promoting Buy Nothing Day. USE THE WORDS YOU HAVE LEARNED.

Lessons 4 & 5

Instructions: Visit the following website. Go down the page and look at the three posters on Buy Nothing Day.


As a group, you are responsible for creating a poster on Buy Nothing Day that other students in the school will see.  The poster must be decorated and will include a slogan or sales pitch.  It will also include the text that your group produced last class. CORRECT THE MISTAKES THAT YOU WILL SEE ON YOUR TEXT.  You have the remainder of the period to complete the poster. Each group member should do an equal amount of work.  If you speak to your partners, you must do so in ENGLISH. The poster itself will be worth most of your grade for this project. 

Slogans are used in order to persuade or convince people to do things.  Slogans contain action words, and are short in length.  As well, they contain exclamation points.

Evaluation Grid: My checklist

I did the following


I have the date of Buy Nothing Day


I have images on my poster


I used the dictionary to check my spelling.


I am promoting Buy Nothing Day.


I spoke English with my partners


I have a slogan.


I included my text from last class.





This concludes our lesson on Buy Nothing Day.  We learned that the environment is something that needs to be protected, and by consuming less, we leave less garbage behind for future generations. Things that we buy are made of materials that come from the environment.  Buying less means using fewer resources and protecting the environment. 



Final Evaluation: Poster Rubric