BY: David Harmon, Bridgepoint Elementary
Clark County, IN; August, 1991
Purpose: By reinforcing knowledge of regions within the United States, students will establish awareness of how landforms/landmarks produce a visual image of a region and to demonstrate how advertisers use the "positive geographical image" to sell their product.
Teaching Level: The following lesson is intended for grades 3-6 but may easily be adaptable to the upper grade levels by incorporating appropriate discussion.
#2 - How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places and environments in a spatial context.
#3 - How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.
#4 - The physical and human characteristics of places.
#8 - The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.
#12 - The processes, patterns and functions of human settlement.
Objectives: At the end of this lesson, the students will
demonstrate the following critical thinking skills relating to geographic
1. identify various geographic regions on a map of the United States,
2. support their assumptions with three to five generalizations as to why a particular region is a region,
3. identify which region a prepared photo belongs to and support their assumption with three to five generalizations,
4. use their developed generalizations to deduce in which region the photo actually belongs,
5. share their points of view through large group discussions deciding by consensus as to the proper regional photo placement, and
6. determine whether a photo's geographical content effects the product's image.
-magazine photos (pre-selected to demonstrate various regional concepts and mounted)
-maps (large class map of the United States and individual group maps of the United States)
-masking tape and/or push pins
Background: It is important for students/consumers to be aware of the technique that advertisers use to "sell" a product. The use of geographic landforms and landmarks is a common practice. The following activities will heighten the students awareness of this technique, and it will also reinforce the study of regions and of their characteristics. By categorizing the photos, determining the region, and by using reasoning/ evaluating skills to reach a consensus, the student will reinforce their knowledge of regions and develop an appreciation of how advertisers utilize geography to their benefit.
Opening/Motivation: Briefly introduce how advertisers use "jingles and slogans" to bring an image of their product into the consumers' thoughts. Share an example such as: "we love to fly...and it shows" (Delta), "be all that you can be in the..." (Army), "reach out and touch someone" (A.T.& T.), "the heartbeat of America" (Chevrolet). Have the students list more examples of jinlges/slogans. Relate how advertisers also use geography to bring a pleasant image and/or mindset to their product. Share more examples: Squirt - dry farmland plowing; Aqua Fresh - ski slope; Zest -rushing mountain stream; Folgers - mountain grown; Nestea plunge - desert, bus, pool; York Peppermint Patties - icebergs.
1. Distribute mounted (laminated) photos. a. Have students (in small groups) use markers to label United States regions on their group map. Use the large map for a demon stration. b. Students are to list three to five generalizations that would determine the location of the photograph.
2. Once all of the photographs have a geographic location, the small groups will share their decisions with the entire class. a. Place with tape on the large class map in the proper group-determined regions. b. Allow for discussion/debate as to proper region and/or shared regions. c. Continue until each group has placed all of the photos on the large class map.
3. Remind the class as to how advertisers play on their emotions and feelings through the use of geography.
4. Have the students suggest how some of the photo advertisements would be different if the geography in the advertisement was changed.
5. Have the class decide which photograph/advertisement relies most heavily on geography.
Closing/Summary: DESIGN AN ADVERTISEMENT: Have each group select a product out of a concealed bag that has been prepared by the instructor; the students are to design an advertisement for the product that depends upon geography to "sell" the product. Share the advertisements and reinforce objectives discussed at the beginning of the lesson.
Extension: For further work related to this activity, students could examine magazines for more examples. Possibly, perform the lesson prior to a field-trip, and the class could search billboards for examples of advertising using geography as they travel to/from their fieldtrip.
Evaluation: The instructor would evaluate the groups by
noting the proper regional advertisement/photograph placement on the large
class map and will observe the small group/class group participation and