A few years back, my friend Edvique, started collecting Got Milk? ads. I don’t know if her initial reason behind the idea was to encourage one of her children to drink milk but whatever the reason, they ended up with quite a large collection which they put into a binder.
Got Milk? has been around since the fall of 1993 and was produced for a California milk producer. The first Got Milk? ad starred Sean M. Whalen as a radio listener trying to answer a $10,000 trivia question but can’t because he has a mouth full of a peanut butter sandwich but no milk to wash it down so he could speak. In 2002 a USA Today poll named it one of the top ten best commercials of all time.
In 1995 the Got Milk? slogan was licensed to the National Milk Processor Board for their print ads. Enter the celebrities. All proudly wearing their milk mustaches. All encouraging us to drink milk because it’s good for us.
I never had to encourage my children to drink milk. Mom and dad love milk. We drink it at home at every meal. They wanted to be like us, it was the only drink offered to them at meal time, and they became milk drinkers. When they got thirsty they would go to the refrigerator for milk and then my campaign began to encourage drinking water between meals. Between the four of us we went through a gallon of milk a day. It was a fourth of my weekly food budget but was money well spent.
A few years back I realized too many of the students in my class were not getting enough milk or not drinking it at all. They chose juice over milk with ordered lunches, sweet tea would be brought in with delivered food, fruit drinks were coming in lunch boxes and the saddest sign was stained teeth from drinking tea and sodas at mealtime. So I borrowed Edvique’s idea and made my own Got Milk? book. My students brought in ads for the book and we talked about the celebrities and what they had to say about milk. We ended up with a large collection ourselves and it has had a permanent place in my reading center ever since. Recently I realized it needs to be updated because the only picture they recognize is Hannah Montana’s dad and Garfield. Out with the old stars, in with the new (which, I am sad to say, most of them I don’t recognize).
Our celebrity book has evolved into our own Got Milk? ads. One year I just couldn’t do the same lesson plans on “All About Me”. I had to do something different and decided we’d make our own Got Milk? ads. Getting the photo worthy milk mustache, not so easy. In the professional ads the mustache is painted on but that takes the fun out of getting one the natural way. This year I finally figured it out and the students loved it!
Before we made the Got Milk? ad we watched two YouTube videos. The first one was how to milk a cow with Farmer Jack and Fair Oak Farm’s milking merry-go-round because after all that is where it starts (I have since discovered a “milk the cow” app for the ipad). I asked each child to share a different fact about milk. I accept it all, even “cats like milk”, as long as they don’t repeat what someone else has said. The object is to get them to talk about milk. Then, finally, the fun part……I made really thick milk shakes with just vanilla ice cream ( 2012 update….Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream worked like a charm) and whole milk…….not too much (I have tried online recipes, cool whip but this is the first year they all liked it). For the photograph, I scooped the mixture on spoons and had them put the spoon sideways to their mouth and tip it up. Can’t believe how well it worked…quick with results ranging from Zorro pencil thin mustaches to thick Charlie Chaplin mustaches. After their photo session they had the choice of enjoying a vanilla shake or making it into a chocolate or strawberry shake (yes, syrup was everywhere…….next year, I pour). I was even able to freeze one to save for an absent child. Later, combined their mustache photo and milk fact, printed them and created one of our class made books which is available for checkout to share with their families. The book also contains websites to visit such as Got Milk? and Fair Oaks Dairy Farm which are both loaded with kid friendly activities.
This year made me realize why this activity is a keeper.
Are you wearing your mustache?