Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Honk If You Love Writing (...and Bumper Stickers!)

Jeannie Overby


In this activity, students collect and create bumper stickers and examine how they influence people.


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

The student knows how the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes can be used to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.


-Vocabulary list with words such as: attitudes, impact, media, implications
-Pens, crayons, markers
-White drawing paper
-Strips of card stock
-Overhead projector
-Transparency with the vocabulary words listed


Prior Knowledge : Make a transparency of the vocabulary terms to be used with this unit. The students copy the words in their vocabulary journal. Test students on the vocabulary words prior to beginning the activity.

1. Gather supplies listed in the materials list.
2. Find extra bumper stickers for the students who may not have located one for the project.


1. Instruct the students to spend some time at home or when they are in the car with their parents viewing bumper stickers dealing with any kind of issue.

2. Each student should bring in a bumper sticker to share for class discussion. These can be brought in whole, photocopied, or if necessary, sketched by hand.

3. Designate a bulletin board or an area for the bumper stickers to be displayed. The students will need ample time to look them over. Make sure the students understand which subjects would be acceptable and appropriate for middle school.

4. Begin class discussion with questions such as these:
~ What are the main ideas addressed in these examples?
~ What are your feelings after reading these bumper stickers?
~ Do you think these will have a positive or negative effect on the person viewing the bumper sticker?
~ Are there certain groups of people who would be offended by the bumper sticker you saw?

5. Instruct the students to compose a descriptive paragraph describing and analyzing the bumper sticker they brought to class. The paragraph should include an explanation of the theme expressed by the bumper sticker and include an exploration of such ideas as the reasons why it is important to society, the message it is designed to communicate, its impact and implications, the reaction it is intended to generate, etc.

6. Have the students design and make their own bumper sticker with a humorous issue such as, Save the Punctuation Marks ! You may also use a topic from a literature selection you are reading. (Any teacher could use this within his/her subject area.)


Evaluate the student-created bumper sticker based on the following checklist:
1. (60 points) Topic of bumper sticker is stated and illustrated with a picture/graphics. Intended message is clearly communicated.
2. (20 points) Grammar and punctuation are correct.
3. (20 points) Bumper sticker is colorful and appealing.

For the descriptive writing activity, assess the student with a teacher-produced rubric:

~ Commendable- 1. Contains ideas relevant to topic. Thoroughly explains impact of message on audience. Uses details and examples to support ideas. 2. Contains at least 5-7 sentences. Contains an introductory sentence and a concluding sentence. 3. Uses descriptive words and active verbs. 4. Makes few grammatical errors.

~ Satisfactory- 1. Adequately develops relevant ideas. 2. Uses at least 5-7 sentences. 3. Uses vivid description. 4. Makes few grammatical errors.

~ Developing- 1. Contains limited ideas relevant to topic. Needs to use more details and examples to support ideas. 2. Contains 3-5 sentences and/or no introductory or concluding sentences. 3. Needs to use more descriptive words and active verbs. 4. Grammatical and spelling errors do not interfere with readability.

~ Novice- No idea developed; grammatical and spelling errors interfere with readability.


~Laminate the final product to display in the hallway.
~The student may want to use pictures from magazines to illustrate their bumper sticker instead of sketching the picture.
~Have students exchange bumper stickers they created with partners and analyze the message. Have the creator see if this was the intended message.
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