• Grades 6-8
  • Visual Arts
  • Media Arts
  • Drawing & Painting

Media Awareness I: The Basics of Advertising
How are consumers influenced by media marketing?

In this 6-8 lesson, students will gain a general understanding of marketing and its influence to illustrate a product with background and foreground. This is the first lesson designed to accompany the media awareness unit. Using an advertisement for a kid-oriented product, students will discuss what appeals to them about each item, brainstorm different categories of products, and explore the concept of target audiences.

Lesson Content

Learning Objectives 

Students will: 

  • Analyze print, video, and audio advertisements. 
  • Evaluate the influence that advertising exerts on people through the media.
  • Interpret the purpose of advertising and what the term “target audience” means.
  • Discuss interpretations and inferences from product or service advertisements.
  • Use principles of art and design to create an advertisement of their own. 
  • Demonstrate an illustration with background and foreground.


Standards Alignment

Recommended Materials

Common Advertising Strategies, Slide: Product Advertisements, Product Discussion Questions, Elements and Principles of Art, Slide: Illustration Examples, Criteria for Success: Product Illustration


Teacher Background

Teachers should use age-appropriate advertisements and products. Bring a collection of sample products for students to observe. Visit Advertising 101: Tips to Get you Started and review Common Advertising Strategies before teaching the lesson. Preview the other two lessons in the unit, Media Awareness II: Key Concepts in Advertising and Media Awareness III: Helping a Product Cross the Finish Line


Student Prerequisites 

Students should have a basic understanding of advertising and their favorite products.


Accessibility Accommodations

Use captions for visual presentations and give an option to create an audio advertisement as opposed to a visual one.

  • Adaptation

    Tonya Abari

  • Editor

    JoDee Scissors

  • Updated

    January 14, 2020

Related Resources

Collection Media Arts

Audio, video, animation, photography, and technology. From Depression-era images that captured the attention of a nation, to student-produced videos on local artists, to how to make your own blood and guts special effects, explore the ever-changing world of media arts.

  • Media Arts
Kennedy Center Education Digital Learning

Eric Friedman 
Director, Digital Learning

Kenny Neal 
Manager, Digital Education Resources

Tiffany Bryant 
Assistant Manager, Audience Enrichment

Joanna McKee 
Program Coordinator, Digital Learning

JoDee Scissors 
Content Specialist, Digital Learning

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