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Orange Soda--Understanding and Creating Advertising

Brief  Description:  The twelve students in the community-based education class at Johnson City High School have been working on creating their own businesses. So far, they have created names, products and pricing for their respective businesses. This project will help students to understand advertising and to develop advertising for their businesses. The lesson requires four days for completion, with the first two days in the classroom, followed by two days in the computer lab of the library.  The students already have experience in using presentation software. They are highly-motivated by the use of technology. Students’ reading levels range from Grade 1 to Grade 4.  Disabilities include autism and varying degrees of mental retardation. The students enjoy working cooperatively.

Goals & Objectives:

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will identify the content and purpose of advertising using various media including a cartoon and magazine advertisements.
  • Students will create a semantic map (Inspiration software) describing the content of the advertising media presented.
  • Students will understand and evaluate the advertising efforts of a peer-entrepreneur.
  • Students will create presentation software advertising the wares of their businesses.
Materials & Sources:


Support Materials/Equipment:

  • Worksheet 1 (included in Related Media)
  • Worksheet 2 (included in Related Media)
  • Worksheet 3 (included in Related Media)
  • Worksheet 4 (included in buILder)
  • Cartoon image from
  • ELMO (to display image(s) for discussion)
  • Magazines to select exemplar advertisements from
  • Inspiration software (to create semantic diagram or use worksheet version)
  • Other exemplars of advertisements
  •  BuILder lesson to create the advertisement (cut and paste the following URL into your browser window):






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































(methods, media, materials)



1.  The Special Education teacher introduces the LMS and both explain how the advertising project ties into the business plans they have been working on.  LMS shows exemplar of final product.

ELMO—Show PowerPoint slide printout.


Provide handout to visually-impaired student.



  1. The LMS presents the Tom Fishburne cartoon from the Brand Camp series as presented on (2005).
  2. Caption and dialogue are covered up.

ELMO- Show cartoon.




Provide handout to visually-impaired student.

2.  LMS hands out sheet and instructs students to write four ways that the product is advertised. [billboards, trucks, posters, man dressed as can of soda aka “walking billboard”]

Handout to be completed by students.

(Students with difficulty writing may be assessed verbally or nonverbally by pointing to illustration on desk or as projected.)

3.  LMS focuses students on the couple at the table eating outdoors. “What can you say about this couple?” [They are similarly dressed.] “What is happening at the table?” [They are ordering.] “What do you think he is saying?” LMS reveals that the man says, “I’ll have what she’s having.” [Despite the multiple depictions of canned soda, he chooses the same bottled (orange) soda his companion is having.]




 4. LMS talks about the effectiveness of the  advertising depicted. “What do you think?  Have you ever bought a product or observed someone else buying a product simply because he/she saw an advertisement?  Would this ad persuade you to buy the product? Why or why not?




5. LMS reveals the caption of the cartoon: “The Power of “Word of Mouth” LMS asks:  What is the author’s perspective about the effectiveness of advertising?”



 Conclusion (15 minutes):




1.  LMS summarizes the four advertising methods used in the cartoon and puts them on semantic map. LMS says, “In addition to these ways, what are some other ways businesses advertise products? [print, television…] LMS includes these on a semantic diagram created in Inspiration. Students may then use the related BuILder lesson to create their advertisement. BuILder lesson can be accessed at the following URL:

Projected Inspiration diagram.








*      Worksheets     - Ten points each for correctly completed worksheets (40 points total)

*      Advertisement- Four points maximum each item on the rubric (40 points total)


































Rubric for Advertisement Project



























































































































































































































Name of business


































No creativity




Little creativity




Some creativity



































Slogan and explanation


































Not clear

No explanation







Little clarity

Little explanation




Some creativity

Some explanation


















































































Many pictures, colorful

































































Very confusing or absent





Difficult to find





Could be easier to find





Easy to find

































































No number given





Difficult to find





Could be easier to find





Easy to find































Listing of services or items


































Very few items listed




A few items listed




Modest number of items listed




Complete list































Pricing of services or items listed








































Not clear




Somewhat complete

Somewhat clear




































Overall appearance of advertisement


































Not acceptable



















































Maximum number of points for both worksheets and advertisement = 80 points

Jessica Peace, Special Education Teacher, Johnson City High School
American Association of School Librarians. Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998. Small, Ruth V. Designing Digital Literacy Programs with IM-PACT. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2005. Also: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (Standards and Benchmarks)
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