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Lesson Plan

Exploring Consumerism Where Ads and Art Intersect

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Peggy Albers

Atlanta, Georgia


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Surrounded by a barrage of images, your students are probably savvy consumers who think they know what advertisers are trying to accomplish. Challenge them to explore how aware they actually are by looking at the ways that both ads and art can manipulate viewers. In this lesson, students look at how advertisements use images and language to appeal to consumers. They then look at examples of art that use images from popular culture. Finally, students create their own artistic interpretations of advertisements, present them, and reflect upon the nature of consumerism in their lives. This lesson can be adapted for use in middle school classrooms.

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Pop Art PowerPoint: This presentation provides students with a brief description of how "pop art" is defined.

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Albers, P. (2007). Finding the artist within: Creating and reading visual texts in the English Language Arts classroom. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Critical literacy encourages thoughtful and conscious readings of all texts: visual, written, musical, etc.

  • Visual "texts" that students create in English language arts classes are significant and carry messages that gesture toward the learner's beliefs. These "texts" can be read, interpreted, and critiqued as part of their learning.


Cowan, K., & Albers, P. (2006). Semiotic representations: Building complex literacy practices through the arts. The Reading Teacher, 60(2), 124–137.

  • Literacy is not simply the ability to read and write print-based text but involves also experience with visual art.

  • Using an approach to literacy that involves materials other than text helps students to "develop richer and more complex literacy practices and allows them to more thoughtfully and critically deal with the images and messages of popular culture."



Harris, D. (2001). Cute, quaint, hungry and romantic: The aesthetics of consumerism. New York: Da Capo Press.


Ferrier, J. (1999). Warhol, image maker for the mass media. In Ferrier, J. & Le Pichon, Y. (Eds.) Art of the 20th century: A year-by-year chronicle of painting, architecture, and sculpture (Walter D. Glanze & Lisa Davidson, Trans.). Paris, France: Chêne-Hachette.

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