Grade Level: 10th-11th Grade
Focus: This lesson is focused on exploring media literacy through advertising and using Photoshop to recreate a misleading advertisement into a more truthful one.
a. Evaluate how the principles of media arts such as repetition, unity and contrast are used in the creation of, presentation of, or response to media artworks. (22.214.171.124.2)
b. Integrate tools, materials, and techniques to create original products for artistic purposes. (126.96.36.199.1)
c. Analyze how a work in media arts influences and is influenced by the personal, social, cultural and historical contexts. (188.8.131.52.1)
d. Revise creative work based on artistic intent and using multiple sources of critique and feedback. (184.108.40.206.3)
-Powerpoint about media literacy and assignment introduction
-Magazines, online ads
-Teacher example of studio project
Lasso tutorial -
Selection Tools -
Cropping and Cutting out -
Changing Background -
How to Create a Background -
-Magazines, newspapers, online ads
-Photoshop (or open source software like GIMP)
-Computers (Mac or PC)
- 2 or 3 Scanners
- 10 Flash drives
-Crescent board or other mounting board (one for each student)
-Adhesive: double stick tape and/or glue sticks
Introduction to the Lesson:
Media literacy is important to enable a person to understand, evaluate and ask questions about what they see and hear. This can be traced back as early as the 1600s. It was first used to sway a large group of people to believe a common goal. Propaganda usually refers to a political standpoint and appeals to an emotion to gain a strong opinion from the viewer. If the artist of the propaganda gets you take a side on an argument then it's doing its job. The word 'propaganda' has changed through the eras into a more general term. In present day the term refers to more manipulative media and advertisements.
When identifying with these advertisements we see everyday we need to learn how to become literate. As consumers it is important to understand the mask that covers the advertisements we believe to be true, in all aspects of digital media. In film we can see how editing takes a large role in adjusting the way we see things. Areas to take into consideration are the way the artist puts together a specific piece of work. When looking at magazine ads the editors have complete control over each add that is printed. Color, font, size, placement, overall weight of the composition, and the words added all give the viewer a direction to go. Whether the message is negative or positive an opinion is developed and the advertisement is successful.
Gaining a positive or negative view is important, but it is also important to identify if the advertisement is misleading. Editors are really good at taking a product, that may or may not be good for you and making it look 'too good to be true'. Using a trained eye to break down an ad into to what it is exactly that the advertiser is saying is important when buying into a product. Students will explore and demonstrate this by picking an advertisement they find misleading and indentifying how the editor put it together to create the desired opinion.
Instructional Procedure for Art Making:
First present the powerpoint to the class which presents the history of media literacy. Next, look at example videos of media literacy and advertising in today's society. Discuss with the students how the videos make them feel and what they think about the videos. Show the students scanned copies in the powerpoint of current magazine advertisements. Talk with the students about what the advertisement does to persuade the viewer to believe what they are promoting. Ask questions such as: What principles (such as repetition, unity and contrast) are used in the creation of the advertisements? How does the use of artistic elements and principles aid the advertisement? What other techniques are the artists using to create an appealing and persuasive advertisement? Is the advertisement truthful or deceiving? How could the advertiser create a more truthful advertisement? Ask the students to go home and find an advertisement in a magazine that they think is misleading. Have the students bring the advertisement to the next class period.
Introduce the studio project to the students using a powerpoint. Show the students your studio examples that you made. Have magazines available just in case a student wants to change their chosen advertisement. The students will then work on creating a studio project in which they take their advertisement and recreate it in Photoshop. Their advertisement should turn the old, misleading ad into a more truthful advertisement, while still remaining appealing as an overall artwork and advertisement. First the students will all need to scan their advertisement into a computer. The students will save their photo to their assigned flash drive (they will need to share). Then, the student will import the photo onto their desktop and import the photo into Photoshop. Demonstrate how to crop, select, and use the paintbrush tool in Photoshop in front of the students. Show the students the blog and other websites that also have other helpful Photoshop tutorials. Let them know that if they have any other Photoshop questions, they can ask for help whenever they need it. The students will have the rest of class time to work on the assignment.
Students will use this class period to continue work on their project. Go around to each student and discuss their project with them. Make sure they are meeting the objectives of the assignment and exploring it in a creative manner. Help students with any Photoshop problems they may have.
Today will be split into two activities: the in-progress critique and work time. The first half of the class time will include an in-progress critique; the students will get into groups of 2-4 (or just get together with the students at their tables) and give feedback to each other. The students should discuss how the student has changed the advertisement into a more truthful ad, along with the student's choice of composition, color, placement, etc. The teacher should go around to each group to help facilitate the discussion and give feedback to students. Once the students giving each other feedback, they can move on to fixing/finishing their studio project. The teacher should remind the students that their project needs to be finished for the final critique next class time, this include: having the project printed (8.5"x11"), put into mounting or crescent board, and have the original/misleading advertisement next to their truthful advertisement. The student's will also need an artist statement including how they changed their misleading advertisement to a truthful advertisement and why it is important to study media literacy.
The students should come to class with their final truthful advertisement ready for critique. Each student will give a brief presentation about his or her advertisement. The student should talk about the misleading advertisement, and how they developed their truthful advertisement (they may read from their artist statement). This could include the composition, placement of subjects, colors that were used, etc. Once the student discusses their project, classmates should give feedback. The students will hand in their final studio project (mounted) and their artist statement for grading.
Discipline-Based Art Education:
Art History: The students learned about the history of media literacy.
Aesthetics: The students learned to appreciate the aesthetics of magazine advertisements.
Art Production: The students created a truthful advertisement from a misleading one using Photoshop.
Art Criticism: The students participated in an in progress critique and final critique, as well as critique of professional advertisements.
Evaluation/Assessment: Teacher will base the students' grade off of their ability to meet objectives in the studio project. They will also be graded on their participation in class critiques and proper use of class time. The artist statement will also be including in the grading of the assignment. The students will get a sheet back that states their grade. The sheet will also have notes on what needs to be improved and what worked well in the advertisement.
"A Brief History of Propaganda." Changing Minds. N.p., 2011. Web. 8 Dec 2011.
Council for Economic Education, . "Deceptive Advertising: Crossing the Line." Econ Ed Link. N.p., 2011. Web. 11 Dec 2011.
"Why Media Literacy is Important." Empowerment Through Education: Center for Media Literacy. Center for Media Literacy, 2011. Web. 8 Dec 2011.