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Creating a ‘Quick Pins’ board
of native ads, sponsored content


by John Bowen


Activity: Creating a “Quick Pins” Padlet/Pinterest board for native ads and sponsored content

In this lesson, the teacher will lead students to create a Pinterest board that identifies native ads and sponsored content since it always helps to visually explain journalism terminology.


  • Students will become better informed about what sponsored news/native ads are
  • Students will be able to recognize sponsored content
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast sponsored content with native advertising.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.


50 minutes

Materials / resources

Blackboard or whiteboard

Teacher laptop and digital projector

Internet access

Student computers if available

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — Warm-up (5 minutes)

The teacher will ask students if they have ever heard of native advertising or sponsored content, if they could recognize it if they saw it and where might they see it.

Depending on student responses, the teacher will raise other questions and/or ask for more explanation.

The warm-up should lead to the teacher sharing definitions:

  • Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user platform in which it is placed.
  • Sponsored content is material which resembles the publication’s editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser  or other information provider and intended to promote the advertiser’s product or services.

(For additional reference, please see the lesson What are native advertising/sponsored content and should we be concerned about them and issues they raise?)

The teacher would also discuss the differences and similarities between the two.

Step 2 —  Whole group work (20 minutes)

From there, the teacher will review with students how to create Pinterest/Padlet boards that show journalistic terms like sponsored content and native ads.

Once the boards are created and established for the class, students will individually seek, and then post, links to native ads and sponsored content. Along with the links and images, students should briefly comment on each of their choices.

The teacher will make on ongoing, extra credit assignment for students as they find and post examples.

Step 3 — Student collaboration (20 minutes)

Have students pair up and discuss each other’s findings. Students should be encouraged to offer suggestions and make corrections.

Step 4 — Reflection (5 minutes)

Teacher should ask each partner group to share their best example of each type.


The teacher will evaluate the students’ posts, summaries and comments and grant an appropriate amount of extra credit for that school’s program.


Students and the teacher can vary the credit by having special assignment posts or creating specific challenges like which student can find the most issues of sponsored content or others stemming from the specific assignment.

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