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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


Materials and Technology






  • Computers with Internet access

  • LCD projector (optional)

  • Magazines and newspapers

  • Art supplies

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1. To teach this lesson, you will want some background information about the Pop Art movement and Andy Warhol in particular. The The Andy Warhol Museum website is an excellent resource; you will find other books and websites on the Advertising and Pop Art Resources list. Bookmark the websites you find useful on your classroom computer and keep some of the books in your classroom so that students can consult them during the lesson. Bookmark also the following sites on your classroom computer:

2. If possible, arrange to use an LCD projector during Sessions 1 and 2.

3. Before teaching this lesson, you may want to discuss some of the strategies that are commonly used in creating advertisements. One way to do this would be to teach the lesson Identifying and Understanding the Fallacies Used in Advertising.

4. Your students will be looking at a variety of advertisements during this lesson. Tear, cut out, or print out magazine, newspaper, and online images from ads aimed at the age group you teach. Collect a range of advertisements including those with images of products and those with images of celebrities or athletes. Consider ads that are artistic or create a "mood" using strong background colors, interesting fonts, or eye-catching placement of images as well as those that sell a product as a lifestyle showing, for example, a model on a yacht or in a penthouse apartment.

  • Choose some ads to share with students in groups of three or four; make copies of these ads to distribute (see Session 1, Step 4).

  • Pick another ad to use as an example of marketing techniques during Session 2; this ad should ideally present the product in a way that speaks to the four aspects of marketing as outlined in Marketing: A Brief Overview.

  • Post the rest of the ads on the walls of your classroom in preparation for the first session.
5. You may also want to create a PowerPoint presentation aimed at illustrating the subliminal power that ads can have when viewed repeatedly. Your aim should be to integrate about 15 different ads aimed at the age group you are teaching. The PowerPoint should be self-running; each ad should be included as a slide and then should be repeated twice. Each time the program cycles through the ads, it should move a little more quickly, until by the third time each ad only flashes on the screen quite briefly. You might incorporate contemporary music into the PowerPoint presentation to add interest and to generate a mood or atmosphere. For more information about creating a PowerPoint presentation, see Chapter 5, "Inquiry Into Technology and Media-Rich Experience in the Teaching of English Language Arts" in Finding the Artist Within by Peggy Albers (International Reading Association, 2007). You will need this presentation ready and available on the computer in your classroom for Session 1.

6. Assemble crayons, colored markers, and pencil colors. You may also want to arrange for the use of a photocopier to make copies of the images students choose in Session 2. Because this lesson also involves the student creation of art projects, you may want to consult Managing Arts in the Classroom for tips on managing this kind of work.

7. Make one copy of the Critically Studying Advertisements handout for every four students in your class. Make one copy of Marketing: A Brief Overview; Understanding the Relationship Among the Consumer, the Product, the Promotion, and the Placement of Advertisements; and the Effects of Color Assignment Sheet for each student in your class.

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