Advertising Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

This lesson introduces your students to advertising art. Students will work in groups to sort advertising art by the strategies used to create it. Then, students will design their own advertising art for a fictitious product and write about the process.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • Identify and describe advertising art
  • Differentiate between the strategies used when creating advertising art


2+ hours (plus additional time for extension activity)

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


  • Print advertisements with advertising art
  • Various examples of advertising art that use plain folks appeal, association, and glittering generalities
  • Paper or poster board
  • Art supplies (pencils, pens, markers, paints, etc.)
  • Copies of lesson and/or lesson quiz (optional)
  • Access to computers (optional)
  • Access to digital cameras (optional)


  • Show the class several examples of print advertisements that include advertising art. Ask them to discuss the similarities between the advertisements.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning about advertising art and different strategies that are used when creating it.
  • Review the lesson What is Advertising Art? online or using paper copies.
  • Discuss the following questions with the students:
    • What is advertising art? What forms can it take?
    • What is visual rhetoric? Why is it important in advertising art?
    • When is advertising art most often used?
    • What is plain folks appeal? Can you give an example of advertisement art that uses this strategy?
    • What is association? Can you give an example of advertisement art that uses this strategy?
    • What is glittering generalities? Can you give an example of advertisement art that uses this strategy?
    • Do advertisers blend strategies? Why or why not?
  • Check for understanding by having the students complete the lesson quiz online or using paper copies.


What's the Strategy?

  • Divide the class into small groups.
  • Give each group a set of advertisements containing advertising art that reflects the three different strategies mentioned in the lesson. Every group could receive the same advertisements or each group could get different ones.
  • Have the groups discuss the advertisements and sort them into groups according to what strategy was used when creating them (plain folks appeal, association, glittering generalities). If an advertisement uses more than one strategy, have students put it in a separate group for advertisement using multiple strategies.
  • When the groups are finished, discuss the results of the activity.
  • Have the groups not only share how they sorted each advertisement, but also the reasons why they thought each advertisement reflected a certain strategy.

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