Share several bumper stickers with students. These can be projected using examples provided in the PowerPoint presentation, or you can provide several bumper stickers for the students to handle and examine closely. (slides 1-8)
Teacher: All media messages are “constructed” (created, built, or assembled) by media makers. What tools have the artists or media makers used to construct their message on the bumper stickers? (Possible answers include color, catchy phrases, icons, symbols, plays-on-words, and images.)
Have each student pick and examine one bumper sticker carefully. Ask the students to consider what message the media maker is sending and why they might want to send the message. Tell the students they will be given time to create their own bumper stickers.
Teacher: Your bumper sticker must send a message that is important to you. Remember that bumper stickers often include both words and pictures to convey the messages that they are sending. Take time to brainstorm and then start to work on your bumper stickers.
Provide students time to brainstorm and work on their bumper stickers. Have students pair-share their bumper stickers.
Teacher: As you pair-share, talk about the message that you are sending through the bumper sticker, and explain how you think the words and images effectively send that message.
Have the students adjust and fix anything on their bumper stickers they wish to. They can complete their work as homework or during free time.
Teacher: When media makers want to send a message to the average person, they work to do the following:
Share one of the Faux Paw the Techno Cat advertising campaigns with the students: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCORrK3o2wt2oufFtwgm9sBA.
Ask the students to identify the key message or theme of the advertising campaign (internet safety for children), note the target audience, and explain how the media makers helped a wide variety of people to value the message they were sending. Explain that in designing an effective media message (bumper sticker, public service announcement, advertising campaign, billboard), all options require a position statement and a clear target audience. Allow time for the students to ask questions or make statements about the advertising campaign.
Split the students into groups of three or four.
Teacher: I have a product that I would like your group to promote. I am going to hire a team from the class to promote the product. (This product could range from breakfast cereal to athletic shoes; make sure you have plenty of information about this product). Each group will need to do the following:
When your group has answered the questions, create a billboard that sells the product. Consider and respond to the following questions:
Give students time to work on their billboards. Depending on the availability of Chromebooks, iPads, and computers, you may have the groups design on tech devices. Or you may have them create a billboard image on cardstock. Have the students share their finished products with the rest of the class. Have each group assess their billboard using the questions and criteria listed above.
This lesson can be used to meet standards in many grades and subject areas. We will highlight one grade’s standards to give an example of application.
Images 1-6: Brenda Beyal