Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Price is Right (Language Arts)

Kelly Allen


The students design written advertisements using cut out items from catalogs or newspapers in order to persuade consumers.


The student recognizes text that is written primarily to persuade.

The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping ideas, grouping related ideas, keeping a notebook of ideas, observing surroundings, answering questions posed by others).

The student uses appropriate words to shape reactions, perceptions, and beliefs (for example, synonyms, antonyms, figurative language).


-Newspapers or catalogs
-8 1/2x11 cardstock, poster board pieces, or construction paper
-Glue sticks and scissors
-Thesauruses and dictionaries
-Two cut out pictures of items for sale with your written advertisement
-Notebook paper
-Assessment Rubric


1. Gather catalogs, newspapers, cardstock, glue, and scissors.
2. Make sure there is a sufficient number of dictionaries and thesauruses.
3. Compose a teacher example of an advertisement that is poorly written and one that is well written. (See step # 1)
4. Make copies of the rubric. (one for each student)


1. Begin the lesson by displaying two advertisements from a catalog or a newspaper. Choose two items that are similar such as two dining room tables, two lazyboy chairs, ..... Share your own written adverisement to go with each picture. One advertisement should be ordinary and boring, and the other advertisement should be inviting and descriptive. The two items should be the same price. Then have the students vote on the product that they would rather buy. Discuss with the students how the words used in the advertisements can persuade or convince consumers to buy products.

2. Instruct students that they are to search through the catalogs or newspapers to find an item that they want to use for their own written advertisements. Remind students that they are to work together in a cooperative way as they work on these advertisements.

3. On notebook paper, the students are to brainstorm a list of words that describe their products and make it sound appealing. These are words that they will use in their written advertisements. Dictionaries and thesauruses may be used.

4. When they have chosen an item and brainstormed a list of juicy words, pass out the cardstock, posterboard, or construction paper. In the center of the paper, the students are to glue their picture choices onto the paper.

5. On one side of the picture, the students should be instructed to write a very plain and ordinary advertisement that doesn't sound too convincing. (example) You may want to discuss overused words that aren't appealing like good, nice, fine..... On the other side of the picture, the students are to use their word lists and a dictionary or thesaurus to retrieve synonyms and other juicy words that would convince a consumer to buy the product. The student's ad should include a price. Emphasize the importance of using correct spelling and grammar in their ads. (optional: Their advertisements can be written on notebook paper and glued onto the cardstock if preferred. This will help them to write neater.)

6. After the students have completed their advertisements, have them share their ads with the class. Allow the students the opportunity to give feedback on the different advertisements. ( What caught their attention? What words were used to spice up the add?, etc. )

7. Post the advertisements around the room or in the hallway. The students will enjoy seeing their work on display.


The teacher encourages discussion of the author's purpose in writing advertisements and how word choice plays a pivotal role in persuading consumers. The student's writing sample will be evaluated using the scoring rubric. Teacher will also observe students as they work cooperatively.


This activity can be extended by challenging the students to find an advertisement from a newspaper or catalog and have them make it even better. They can also locate what they consider to be examples of highly persuasive ads and ads that don't seem to persuade at all. Comparison charts can be designed on poster board displaying their findings.
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