Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Everybody Else Has One!

Farica King
Santa Rosa District Schools


Commercials have an amazing impact on buyers of all ages. By creating a commercial, students become more aware of the propaganda techniques used to impact the buying power of the consumer.


The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student selects communication tools that will enhance understanding.

The student knows ways the tools of graphics, pictures, color, motion, music, and computer technology affect communication across the media.

The student uses multimedia tools to enhance presentations.

The student understands ways mass media may enhance or manipulate information.


-Construction paper
-Variety of props (select these as appropriate based upon
the products students will be creating commercials for; i.e. costumes, scenery, products, etc.)
-Tape recorder or cd player to use for commercial sound effects
-Access to variety of software programs for graphics/design (such as PrintMaster, PrintShop, etc.)
-Video equipment (camcorder, tapes, and VCR)
-Television for presenting videotapes
-Overhead transparencies
-Overhead markers
-Handout on propaganda techniques (download sample)
-Tape of current commercials (make this yourself using noncontroversial commercials appealing to a teen audience)
-Rubric for scoring advertisements (download sample - one per commercial)
-Cooperative Worker Rating Checklist (download sample)
-Student journals (or wherever daily writing is kept)


1. Create videotape of noncontroversial, teen-appealing commercials.
2. Gather magazines, scissors, glue, construction paper, posterboard, props (as appropriate based upon the products students will be advertising), overhead transparencies, overhead markers, music/sound effects, software programs (such as PrintMaster, PrintShop, etc.).
3.Gather materials necessary for videotaping students.
4. Download propaganda handout; copy one per student.
5. Download rubric for scoring student advertisements; copy one per student for each commercial to be evaluated.
6. Download -Cooperative Worker Rating Checklist,- and copy one per student.
7. Gather student journals/writing folders together.


Day One
1. Begin the lesson by showing commercial video.

2. Following the video, hold a discussion about products and commercials.

3. Provide students with a copy of handout on propaganda

4. Using the handout, present the four types of propaganda used in advertising:
a)Bandwagon: persuading people to do something by making them believe others are doing this also
b)Emotional words: using words to make people feel strongly about someone or something
c)Testimonial: using words of famous or influential people to persuade consumers
d)Transfer: using names or pictures of famous or influential people in advertising, but not direct quotes from those individuals

5. Lead the discussion into the different types of
propaganda used in the commercials viewed. Brainstorm these ideas on the board or overhead.

6. Brainstorm a list of other commercials the students are familiar with containing some of these propaganda techniques. Also discuss ways graphics, pictures, music, etc. are used to influence consumers.

7. Place students in cooperative groups.

8. Assign each group a product to write a commercial about. (i.e. Nike tennis shoes, [Seventeen] magazine, Cover Girl cosmetics, TPX baseball bat, Game Boy, video game, Coke, Power Aide, or anything appealing to this age group).

Days Two and Three
9. Provide each group with copies of magazines, markers, scissors, construction paper, posterboard, access to software programs for graphics/design (such as PrintMaster, PrintShop, etc.), access to props (pre-selected as appropriate based upon products to be advertised), and music/sound effects for the commercials. While students are working, circulate and assist as needed.

10. Each group will then write (draft/revise) an advertisement for the product. (Commercials should last at least one minute, but no longer than three minutes.) The group must work together to create one advertisement for their product using one or more of the propaganda techniques, multimedia tools, and music or sound effects. One final, proofread hard copy of the advertisement must be turned in to the teacher at the time of taping.

11. After each group has had the written version of the advertisement approved by the teacher, students will use magazines, markers, scissors, construction paper, posterboard, props, access to variety of software programs for graphics/design, and music/sound effects to decide how they will prepare their advertisement for video taping. Students are the producers, writers, performers, and editors for this activity.

Day Four
12. Videotape the students' presentations.

13. While waiting to videotape, students will write a short journal entry (minimum of ten sentences) on the effect of media on consumers.
Example topic: How Media Affects What We Buy
Writing should demonstrate that students are aware of how mass media enhances and/or manipulates information.

Day Five
14. Present taping of each groups' commercials to class.

15. Provide all students with a copy of the evaluation rubric to be used while viewing the commercials. (download sample - one per commercial to be viewed)

16. Using the rubric while viewing the commercials, students evaluate each advertisement as well as identify the propaganda technique(s) used in the advertisement.

17. Students will also complete the Cooperative Worker Rating List following the presentations.


1. Collect and assess each group's final advertisement copy to verify students are identifying and using at least one propaganda technique in their commercial.

2. Collect and assess rubrics used to score student advertisements. Students should have identified the propaganda techniques used in each commercial with a minimum of 80% total accuracy per student.

3. Collect and assess -Cooperative Worker Rating Checklist to determine if students have exhibited the following behaviors:
a) each student contributes to the assignment,
b) each student completes designated tasks within the group, and
c) each student assumes assigned role within the group.

4. Collect and assess each student's writing journal for knowledge of how pictures, color, graphics, music, propaganda, etc. affect communication and how information can be enhanced/manipulated by these.

5. The teacher will also assess the student videos using the rubric.


1. Students can design and create their own products. Students can conduct market research and determine the best methods to market their product. In addition, students can also produce a commercial for their product.
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