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Database Provider


Infographics, Media Literacy, Research


11th, 12th, AP® / College


English Language Arts, Health


100 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Logical Fallacies in Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 14, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn how to analyze greenwashing and logical fallacies, debunk false advertising, and design an infographic to raise awareness.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students identify inaccurate narratives about products used at the beach and learn how misleading marketing can damage the climate.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students identify and analyze logical fallacies, especially greenwashing, and determine how they affect audiences.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students design an infographic to debunk a logical fallacy about reef-safe sunscreen and offer alternative, locally-made products.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai'i's Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • This lesson is aligned to Advanced Placement (AP) English skills and content.

  • Students have a choice in researching products.

  • Students are empowered to find local alternatives to products that use greenwashing advertisements.
  • Students are empowered as consumers and gain an understanding that it is possible to vote with your dollar.

  • Students can use their work to inspire or inform the local community.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with research and what constitutes a reliable source.

  • Teacher should be familiar with some sunscreen brands and know that the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate harm reefs.


  • This lesson can be extended with the lesson Analyzing Greenwashing or can act as an extension of the Carbon Emission Reduction Strategies lesson.

  • This lesson can be extended by having students analyze and debunk more climate change myths using the concept of wokewashing.

  • This lesson can be extended to go broader than reef-safe sunscreen. Another resource is Learn to Spot Greenwashing.

  • This lesson can be taught alongside a lesson on financial literacy.

  • This lesson can be scaled down to focus on one logical fallacy at a time, or students can focus on comparing and contrasting two logical fallacies.

Scientist Notes

Students can learn how to spot greenwashing and logical fallacies in ads and published information through this lesson. Many communities are naive about how businesses "greenwash" their products, thus this lesson would help students recognize deceptive information and write about how to spot and dispute those commercials that could deter people from taking action on climate change. This lesson passed our science review after we carefully fact-checked all the lesson materials.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
      • 8.12.3 Work cooperatively as an advocate for improving personal, family, and community health.
      • 8.12.4 Adapt health messages and communication techniques to a specific target audience.
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