• Grades 6-8
  • Visual Arts
  • English & Literature

Media Awareness II: Key Concepts in Advertising
What are the elements of an effective or ineffective advertisement?

In this 6-8 lesson, students will continue the exploration of advertising and media awareness. This is the second lesson designed to accompany the media awareness unit. Students will examine advertisements and discuss the following terms: purpose, target audience, and value of advertisements. Students will then begin to add details—such as text, symbols, and color—to their original, hand-drawn advertisements.

Lesson Content

Learning Objectives 

Students will: 

  • Develop an understanding of basic concepts in advertising.
  • Infer the purpose and “target audience” of an advertisement.
  • Analyze advertisements from commercials, cereal, magazines, and websites.
  • Discuss the purpose, target audience, and style of advertisements with key vocabulary.
  • Apply selected elements and principles of art to create an advertisement of their own.


Standards Alignment

Recommended Materials

Target Audience and Purpose, Elements and Principles of Art, Advertisement Analysis


Teacher Background

Teachers should use age-appropriate advertisements and kid-friendly products. Preview the details of the lesson to understand its connection to the unit, Media Awareness I: The Basics of Advertising and Media Awareness III: Helping a Product Cross the Finish Line. Create a notification for students to bring an advertisement to school or allow time for them to research and find one. 


Student Prerequisites 

Students should have a basic understanding of advertising and prior experience with the first lesson in the unit, Media Awareness I: The Basics of Advertising


Accessibility Accommodations

Modify visual presentations to include captions. Give students an option to create an audio advertisement as opposed to a visual one.

  • Original Writer

    Helen Robertson

  • Editor

    JoDee Scissors

  • Updated

    December 4, 2019

Related Resources

Lesson Media Awareness I: The Basics of Advertising

In this 6-8 lesson, students will gain a general understanding of marketing and its influence to illustrate a product with background and foreground.

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

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

Connect with us!

spacer-24px.pngyoutube.png    facebook.png    twitter.png    instagram.png    email.png

ARTSEDGE, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

The contents of this Web site were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

Unless otherwise stated, ARTSEDGE materials may be copied, modified and otherwise utilized for non-commercial educational purposes provided that ARTSEDGE and any authors listed in the materials are credited and provided that you permit others to use them in the same manner.

© 1996-2020 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts