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Using your theme to develop your brand

All great publications work with visual and verbal themes to create an identity that distinguishes not only their content but who they are — their ethos (credibility), their type of storytelling and their vision. This lesson walks students through four aspects of using their theme to create an image/brand that can be used to promote the work and the staff.


  • Students will examine and discuss how Wired magazine uses theme in each issue to govern their content and set the tone for their storytelling.
  • Students will explore how one school developed theme into an identity that became their brand.
  • Students will develop an action plan for how to expand their theme into their identity.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2.A Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.


60 minutes


Slideshow: This brand is your brand slideshow

All materials and directives for the students to learn and execute their plan are given in the slideshow, with specific directives for action on the grey slides.

Rubric: This brand is your brand rubric

Lesson step-by-step

Teacher and students can work through the lesson (broken into 4 parts) and examples and then develop their own parallel action plan.


Students can be broken into groups to tackle each of the four parts.