Lesson Plan Menu
Critical Consumerism
Activity: Cool Is. . .(30 minutes)
  • Quickwrite #8:What is cool? List things and ideas that are cool.
  • Groups discuss answers and make a list of their top coolest things. These will be posted and all students will circulate the room, viewing the lists and trying to develop a thesis statement.
  • Thesis Statement: Cool, as defined by Oakland teenagers is __________.

Cool is a value, one that is extremely hard to even identify, let alone define. Still, companies realize that they must be cool to be consumed by teenagers. Here are some of the ways in which companies have become successful by becoming cool.


  • Each group will be given one of these articles (listed below) to read and present in a jigsaw fashion. As students read, they should reflect upon this question: Do the techniques used by these companies sound familiar? Can you cite any ads that use these techniques?
  • After they read silently, they should discuss the article in their groups and then prepare a summary of the articles main points to write up and share.
  • "Hilfiger"s Music Ties Hit The Right Note With Teens" Kidscreen Magazine
  • "Alloy Bets New Spots Reflect Teen Spirit" AdvertisingAge, Aug. 1999
  • "Advertising to Teens" Kidscreen Magazine, Mar. 2000
  • "Humor: The Hard-Core Kid Creative" Kidscreen, Feb. 1999
  • "Best Magazines: Teen-age Girls, Advertisers Both Heed Seventeen"" AdvertisingAge, Feb 1999
  • Quickwrite #9:Given your understanding of these articles we just read, do you think these companies are reflecting or influencing teenagers?
  • Discuss

Activity: Video Viewing: Merchants of Cool (50 minutes)
  • View video (and discuss key points as you go)
  • Freewrite brainstorm for final essay: Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture?

Daily Lessons
 Lesson 1
  Lesson 2
  Activity: Assignment Review
  Activity: Corporate Alphabet
  Activity: TV Inventory
Lesson 3
  Activity: Techniques
   Activity: TV Ad Analysis
  Homework Assignment
  Activity: Print Ad Analysis
   Homework Assignment
  Activity: Ads Sell Image
  Activity: Cigarette Ads
  Activity: Adbusting
 Lesson 4
  What do Teens Value?
  Activity: Cool Is. . .
  Activity: Video Viewing
Lesson 5
  Activity: Music Video Analysis
  Activity: Videos vs. Real Life
  Activity: Deconstruction
  Final Projects
  Persuasive Essay
Teacher Commentary

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Critical Consumerism: Advertising and Teen Culture

Subject: Language Arts
Grade Level: 9th
Lesson Plan Author:
Jill Flaningam