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Managing online advertising


This lesson introduces students to the online advertising model used by a student media program in Missouri. Students read and annotate background information about the publications before analyzing a Q-and-A transcript of an interview with the editor-in-chief of digital media during the 2014-2015 school year. Then, they participate in small group and large group discussion to generate a list of important considerations for using online advertising. Finally, they complete an exit ticket and homework assignment to demonstrate their understanding of the lesson content.


  • Students will analyze and evaluate a case study about an online advertising strategy used by a scholastic journalism staff.
  • Students will generate a list of considerations for implementing online advertising in small and large-group discussions.
  • Students will synthesize their opinion about the use of online advertising in writing.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify or challenge ideas and conclusions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content.


60-70 minutes


Handout: Online advertising case study

Handout: Online advertising exit ticket

Handout: Online advertising response

Rubric: Case study

Sticky notes

Lesson step-by-step

1. Large group discussion — 8-10 minutes

Present students with the question, “What do you like, and dislike, about online advertising?” You might project the question on the board, print the question on an entrance ticket, use an online response-collation tool like Google Forms, Kahoot, or Socrative, or verbally ask the question. You could have students think-pair-share, write their answer down, or respond in a Q-and-A format. Record student responses using a whiteboard, document camera, PowerPoint notes, poster paper or another preferred recording method.

2. Read the case study — 15-25 minutes

Distribute the online advertising case study. Depending on your students, give them 15-25 minutes to read and annotate the case study and determine three considerations that a publication should take into account when developing an online advertising strategy. Some considerations they might suggest include:

  • Set ad rates
  • Time to sell ads
  • A student to organize ad sales
  • Time to evaluate and tweak the plan each month
  • Requirements for ad sales
  • Time to learn how to sell ads
  • Practice ad sales techniques
  • The frequency for how long the ad will rotate
  • Ad rotation software
  • Sizes for ads online
  • Someone to create the ads
  • Create a budget
  • Lots of options for advertisers

3. Small group discussion — 10-15 minutes

As students finish, prompt them to move to groups of 3-4 students. Give each group a packet of sticky notes and tell students to write one of their considerations on each sticky note (there should be 9-12 sticky notes total, depending on the size of the group). Once they have their sticky notes, they should place them into three categories: vital, secondary, supplementary.

4. Large group discussion — 10-15 minutes

Ask each group to report considerations from the vital, secondary and supplementary categories. If some considerations appear in more than one category, ask each group to explain why they feel it should be in either of the categories, then prompt the class to vote on which category the consideration should be in. Some considerations will be repeated, which is fine. Students should record three considerations from each category at the top of their exit ticket form. Make sure students include the following considerations in either the vital or secondary category:

  • Set ad rates
  • A student to organize ad sales
  • Requirements for ad sales
  • The frequency for how long the ad will rotate
  • Sizes for ads online

5. Exit ticket — 5 minutes

Prompt students to complete the rest of their exit ticket and then submit it to you. While they are doing this, distribute the homework assignment.

6. Homework

Students should summarize their thoughts about online advertising in written form, or they may draw a diagram to show their thinking. You might grade this as part of the case study rubric grade or as a completion grade.


In a 1:1 environment, consider using digital collaboration tools for students to respond to the warm-up question and when they are working in small groups.

For less-ready readers or students with limited English proficiency, distribute the case study in advance or consider reading it aloud as a class. Students also could read together with a partner, switching off reading each paragraph out loud and then summarizing together before moving on. These students might also complete one analysis sheet together instead of each student completing the work individually.

The homework assignment contains two options for different learning styles — students may either write their responses or create a diagram. You might also allow students to complete this assignment online.