Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 4-12, students use BrainPOP resources (including the Make-A-Map concept mapping tool) to explore common advertising strategies and increase media literacy.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Define and explain 8 common advertising strategies used in print and online media.
  2. Identify real-life examples of common advertising strategies.
  3. Create a concept map using the Make-a-Map tool to share their understanding of advertising strategies.


Lesson Procedure:

  1. Have students read the Related Reading feature with a partner or discuss it whole class. Encourage students to share their own examples of ways they've heard products in advertisements are altered to look more appealing, or experiences they've had with photographs that have been retouched.
  2. Play the Media Literacy movie with closed-captioning on to aid students in comprehension. Have students talk with a partner about real-life examples they've seen of the advertisement strategies in action. Pass out the Worksheet (which lists the strategies at the top of the page) to help facilitate discussion.
  3. Tell students you are going to play the Media Literacy movie through a second time, and this time, you want them to take notes using the worksheet. Each student should choose 3 advertising strategies from the movie to write about, ensuring that they choose a different set of strategies than their partner. You may want to pause the movie to allow additional writing time, and provide several minutes after the movie is over for students to complete each section and talk about it.
  4. Challenge students to work with their partner to use the Make-A-Map tool. They will create a graphic organizer which explains each of the common advertising strategies they wrote about on their worksheets. The Make-a-Map created by each pair of students should feature the 6 strategies they took notes on, and may include the additional 2 strategies from the movie for extra credit.
  5. Have students complete the Primary Source Activity for homework or in a follow-up lesson.

Extension Activities:

Continue to build student awareness of media literacy and advertisement strategies throughout the school year. Encourage students to find real-life examples of print, online, and video advertisements that use the 8 common strategies, and share them with the class. You may want to create a class Pinterest board to collect and organize these examples, or use a tool like Evernote.