Selling Your Hometown

Language Arts & Art Activity

Students research different types of advertising, then use what they have learned to promote their community.



  1. Expose students to samples of advertising in different media; for example, take them for a walk in business district, play audio and video tapes of advertisements, display magazines, newspapers, advertising inserts and fliers. Be sure to include examples of public service advertisements, that is, ads that promote the community or special, nonprofit causes. Then, with student input, create a chart that classifies the various forms advertising can take: newspaper and magazine, radio, television, billboard, posters, and so forth.

  2. Discuss with students the advertising they have observed that promotes local products and services. Have them explain, in their own words, how that advertising can benefit a community. Point out the examples of public service announcements and have students compare the way those ads help the community.

  3. Explain that advertising agencies usually form account teams to handle advertisers. Point out that each team is a mix of talents and abilities: writers, artists, musicians, good organizers, and so forth. Choose students to form about three such account teams.

  4. Have the teams meet to brainstorm ideas on how they might promote their community through an advertisement campaign. As starters, offer ideas for themes they might pursue:

    Their community

  5. Bring the teams together to pool their ideas, then narrow the list down. Have each team develop an ad campaign for one of the ideas on the short list. The teams' plans should tell what kinds of advertising they would use (print or TV, for example) and why, which outlets they would use, and include drafts of slogans and emblems. Each team then tries to "sell" its concept to the "client," by presenting it to the class.


As an alternative, choose one theme to promote, then assign each team to design the campaign for specific media. Thus one team would prepare a radio ad campaign, another design the billboards, and so forth. The teams would have to work together closely in order to coordinate their work.

After receiving feedback from classmates, each team carries through its project, creating posters/newspaper ads/tapes. They share their work with other classes and, possibly, with local business groups engaged in similar promotional activities, such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Students might produce their own magazine, using painting/drawing software or desktop publishing programs to produce articles, pictures, and promotional material about their community. The goal is to make the magazine useful to someone thinking of doing any kind of business in the community. To gather useful information, students would have to consult local newspapers and publications and possibly interview business people.

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