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Sponsored content and native ads:
Community education


by John Bowen


Sponsored content and native ads: Community education

Description — fourth in the sequence
From previous lessons, student journalists should be aware of native ads and sponsored content and the importance of understanding the issues they raise. Now, they take this awareness and knowledge a step further and become the teachers to their various communities. They can use the positions they reported in the last lesson and inform others.


  • Students will identify a community for which they would prepare a presentation on native ads or sponsored content.
  • Students will prepare arguments, pro and con, to prepare for the presentation.
  • Students will construct the presentation for their chosen community to create dialogue and action.

Common Core State Standards

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.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.A 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.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.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


50 minutes

Materials / resources

Blackboard or whiteboard

Teacher laptop and digital projector

Internet access

Rubric for student article summary and statement

Small group Action Plan organizational form

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — Warm-up (5 minutes)

Students have learned about sponsored content and native ads. Now they are going to create plans to share their knowledge with chosen communities.

Step 2 — Small group work (45 minutes)

The teacher will ask students to discuss what they think would be the most effective strategies to influence others about the topics of native ads or sponsored content. During the discussions students would also talk about the best strategies and to which communities students could reach out.

Students should reassemble into small groups of their choice to do the following:

  • Identify and choose a community they feel would benefit from a presentation about native ads or sponsored content. (Middle school groups, other high school peers, civic groups, school board, faculty, etc.)
  • Select a focus on either native ads or sponsored content.
  • Discuss which resources they had access to turning their classes on the topic that would be the most helpful for a presentation to their chosen community They could assignment certain resources to group members.
  • Presentation platform(s) (live presentation, forum, podcast, video, written articles, slideshows, combinations, etc.)
  • Begin to complete the action plan organizational form
  • Depending on choice of group, type of presentation and more, the small group teams will work to create their action plan organizational form and establish a timeframe for its presentation.
  • Students would do as much planning, research and decision-making in this class as they can. They should also try to share with the teacher questions and concerns.


Because it is a group project, the teacher will ask students to create a one-page reflection on the outcomes of the action plan.


It is quite likely the teacher might plan one or more work days for completion of the action plan. Additional class periods might be set aside for:

  • Completion of research and outline of presentation. Personal assignments
  • Practice of presentation approaches. Development of evaluation approaches and forms.
  • Evaluation of the presentation

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