Media Awareness: Helping a Product Cross the Finish Line


Key Staff

The lesson can be taught by the language arts or media instructor; however, this lesson can be used in any alternative or supplemental program, such as life skills, guidance, or health classes.

Key Skills

Creative Thinking: Creativity and Innovation
Developing Arts Literacies: Applying Vocabulary, Analyzing and Evaluating - Critique
Life and Career Skills: Social and Cross-Cultural Skills


In this final lesson of the Media Awareness unit, students will complete their advertisements, adding in details (such as color and symbols) and background/foreground space on the picture plane. Students will also share their advertisements with the class. As a culminating activity, students will be grouped into "development" and "marketing" departments of an imaginary company, creating a new children’s product as well as a marketing strategy.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Use critical thinking skills to further develop their understanding of advertising concepts.
  • Use elements and principles of art to create an advertisement of their own.
  • Work collaboratively in groups to develop and assess a creative development and marketing project.

Teaching Approach

  • Arts Integration
  • Project-Based Learning

Teaching Methods

  • Visual Instruction
  • Discussion
  • Independent Practice

Assessment Type

Performance Assessment


What You'll Need

Required Technology
  • 1 Computer per Learner
  • Word Processing Software
Technology Notes

If students are creating electronic illustrations, teachers need to use appropriate illustration software (which will vary depending on the available resources).

Lesson Setup

Prior Student Knowledge

Students need to have prior knowledge on the principles of advertising. These strategies can be learned on their own or from previous lessons.

Physical Space



  • Small Group Instruction
  • Individualized Instruction


  • Make copies of handouts.
  • Prepare samples of marketing plans and original advertisements.

Accessibility Notes

  • For hearing impaired students, use captions visual presentations.
  • For visually impaired students, give an option of creating an audio advertisement as opposed to a visual one.
  • Use age-appropriate advertisements and kid-friendly products.


Resources in Reach

Here are the resources you'll need for each activity, in order of instruction.



1. Ask students to discuss their responses to the following question:

Has the information you learned about marketing (target audience, purpose, elements of art) affected your own original advertisement for your favorite kid-friendly product? Why or why not?

3. Have students complete their advertisements. They should include color, details such as symbols and text, and background/foreground space on the picture plane. Ask students to consider who their audience is - the audience can be realistic, or playful and imaginative. Students should also give consideration to what parts of their ad they would like noticed most (i.e., price, place of purchase, purpose of the toy, etc.) and should brainstorm how to draw attention to those parts of the ad.

4. Have students share their original advertisements. Then, have students identify key elements of the advertisements (target audience, purpose, etc.).


1. Review the key components or advertising and art. Refer to the Elements and Principles of Art handout and the Target Audience and Purpose worksheet as needed. Ask if any students have questions or need clarification on any of the terms.

2. Explain the roles of development and marketing. It is the responsibility of the development department to brainstorm a new product for kids. Once the development department has created the product, the marketing department must develop ways to advertise and market the toy. The marketing department must also devise strategies for product placement and targeting the right audience.


1. Have the students read the handout entitled Common Advertising Strategies that can be found within the Resource Carousel.

2. Lead a discussion about advertising strategies companies use and their effects on youth. Open the discussion to any questions that the students may have about the article's content.

3. Tell students that they will be creating a new children’s product as well as a marketing strategy. Explain to students that they must imagine that they are all part of a kids-oriented manufacturing company. Divide the class in half, telling one half that they are the "development" department and the other half that they are the "marketing" department.

4. Allow students the entire period, and possibly the next class, to complete the entire scenario.


1. Have students come together for a critique of the project, assessing its potential for success, etc.


Observe student participation and evaluate student learning using the Assessment Rubric.


Throughout the nation, standards of learning are being revised, published and adopted. During this time of transition, ARTSEDGE will continually add connections to the Common Core, Next Generation Science standards and other standards to our existing lessons, in addition to the previous versions of the National Standards across the subject areas.

The Arts Standards used in ARTSEDGE Lessons are the 1994 voluntary national arts standards. The Arts learning standards were revised in 2014; please visit the National Core Arts Standards (http://nationalartsstandards.org) for more. The Kennedy Center is working on developing new lessons to connect to these standards, while maintaining the existing lesson library aligned to the Common Core, other state standards, and the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education.

ArtsEdge Lessons connect to the National Standards for Arts Education, the Common Core Standards, and a range of other subject area standards.

Common Core/State Standards

Select state and grade(s) below, then click "Find" to display Common Core and state standards.

National Standards For Arts Education
Visual Art

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

National Standards in Other Subjects
Language Arts

Language Arts Standard 4: Gathers and uses information for research purposes

Language Arts Standard 9: Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media

Language Arts

Language Arts Standard 8: Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes



Tonya Abari

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Use this collection of resources and articles to devise an approach for supporting individual needs in the classroom: from English Language Learners or students with disabilities, to conflict resolution and giving feedback.



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