Teacher Experience: “Advertising Analyst” Task for 6th Grade Social Studies Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
Sixth-Grade Social Studies Teacher
Andrew Jackson Middle School (WV)
Here’s What We Did:
For this task, my students created a unique product appealing to the masses, and crafted a well thought-out advertising strategy around it. They had to figure out what sort of product they would make and who their target audience would be. Once they had determined this, students did a short cost analysis study and learned about profit margins—how much it would cost to make the product versus how much it would sell for. For example, one group wanted to sell T-shirts and had to find the cost and determine a price.
Using resources on Defined STEM, students researched different types of advertising and the cost associated with buying ads in a variety of mediums. For example, they looked at the cost and reach of online advertising versus the cost and reach of a billboard on the highway. To teach them about TV advertising, I had students watch and record what they noticed about commercials on local and cable channels, and during different times of the day. Using their knowledge about market saturation and audience, they discovered major differences between the commercials airing during the evening news and those that aired during Saturday morning cartoons on the Disney Channel.
To finish the project, students compiled their research, product info, and advertising plan into an in-class presentation.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
In this task, students loved watching TV as a homework assignment. They realized what they were watching and the project they were doing is an entire career field they had never thought of. They used cross-curricular skills to determine product pricing and profits, and critical thinking skills to determine their audience in different types of advertising. This lesson was extremely relevant, and students enjoyed creating their own individual plan and not having to come to a “correct” answer.