Utah Lesson Plans
Media and Communications
Material Type:
Lower Elementary
  • Lesson Plan
  • Library
  • Media
  • UEN
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Branding Iron

    Branding Iron


    Students will learn about how companies "brand" themselves to promote/market their goods & services. Grades 3-4.


    Students will learn about how companies "brand" themselves to promote/market their goods & services. Grades 3-4.

    Background for Teachers

    Media Literacy
    National Association for Media Literacy Education
    P.O. Box 343 NY, NY 10024

    Student Prior Knowledge

    Historical use of branding cattle or ranching

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Students will be able to recognize & evaluate media messages used to brand products & services.

    Instructional Procedures

    Lesson 1- Branding Basics

    Teacher/Librarian leads class discussion.
    Show students photo of branding iron or brand on a cow and discuss where the term comes from and how branding cattle is used to show ownership. Today it is used to show ownership/provide a "brand" that people will recognize belonging to a company


    • Brand/Branding
    • Image
    • Consumers
    • Target group
    • Marketing
    • Promoting

    Teacher/Librarian leads discussion with class.
    Brands are part of our everyday life. How many of you eat cereal for breakfast? What kind of cereal/brands do you eat? What is on the front and back of the box?

    T/L holds up large cards with terms each time one is mentioned. Brands (hold up card)can be created for just about anything. Clothing, food, cars, music, books.

    T /L wears & points out "brand clothing" as an introduction/example.

    • Who else is wearing a branded Tshirt/jeans/shoes today?
    • What brand are you wearing?
    • What's some of your favorite brands of clothing?
    • Why do you like it?
    • How do you feel when you wear your favorite brand of clothing?

    Brands are used to create an Image (hold up card) An image is an idea that help companies to Market (advertise & sell) (hold up card) things and services. To Promote (hold up card) something means to create advertising to sell it to a consumer. (potential buyer) (hold up card)

    Next, have students fill in the blank cloze paragraph with terms discussed.

    Teacher/Librarian projects filled in cloze paragraph, read aloud to students while they check their own paragraph.

    Handout to fill in paragraph/branding terms.

    Branding Vocabulary

    _______ can be created for just about anything including clothing, food, cars, music, books, Brands are used to create an _________ that the company wants __________(potential buyers) to remember.

    This is an idea that help companies to _________(advertise & sell) things and services.

    Companies create many different kinds of advertising to ___________ or sell things.

    to a__________ (potential buyer)

    Word Bank

    • Consumer
    • Brands
    • Promote
    • Market
    • Image

    Answer Key

    BRANDS can be created for just about anything including clothing, food, cars, music, books, Brands are used to create an IMAGE that the company wants CONSUMERS (potential buyers) to remember.

    This is an idea that help companies to MARKET OR PROMOTE (advertise & sell) things and services.

    Companies create many different kinds of advertising to MARKET OR PROMOTE or sell things.

    to a CONSUMER (potential buyer)


    Lesson 2 - It's All About the Brand

    Teacher/Librarian leads class discussion.


    • Mass media
    • Audience

    Brands are promoted & marketed through mass media. Hold up card with the words "mass media"

    Mass means "a lot" of something.

    Media is the way we get information such as internet, tv/FB/emails.

    So mass media means the many different ways we may get information.

    Companies use brands (hold up card from lesson 1) and the mass media (hold up card) to promote/sell things to people.

    The people that the company wants to see the advertising is known as the audience. (hold up card)

    Ask Students

    • What are some other ways we get information?
      Examples-twitter/billboards/signs/books/magazines/texting/websites/pop ups

    Show students marketing/branding examples of some of the forms of mass media.

    Ask them, "Who is the audience for the brands/marketing?"


    Make a list of 5 of your favorite brands. Then, tell what kind of media you have seen them market or advertise on. Tell what "audience" each is being marketed to. Each group shares 1 brand and how it is marketed or advertised.

    T/L-summarize lesson
    Media messages are very powerful. As a consumer (hold up card), it's easy to get caught up in wanting certain brands.


    Lesson 3 - Books Are Branded


    • Target Group

    Have several examples of popular fiction & non-fiction series displayed. i.e., Diary of Wimpy Kid,, Junie B. Jones, Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Leggo, Transformers,

    Teacher/Librarian leads class discussion.

    • What's your favorite book series?
    • What is the "brand name" of each of these series?
    • Where have you seen this "brand" marketed? (hold up cards with terms from prior lessons) (book stores/Scholastic book fairs, internet, Saturday cartoons, ect)
    • What is special/makes you want to read/consume (hold up card) this series?

    Show examples of book tie-ins/brands. Scholastic book site, author's series sites, TV/Cable shows

    Ask students

    • What other books/series can you think of that are "branded" (Harry Potter, etc.)
    • What makes these books so popular?
    • What media is used to promote (hold up card) them? (movies, tv, Saturday cartoons, Disney channel, ect.)

    Brands are usually marketed/promoted (hold up cards)to specific groups.

    The books we have been talking about are marketed to children your age.

    Some are geared more to boys and some to girls. Some to kids who like humor such as Wimpy Kid, or Princesses such as Disney books. (Give more examples of this as time allows.)

    We call this marketing to a "target group" (hold up card with new term) which is promoting things to a certain specific group of people.

    Show additional examples of books that are marketed to their age group.

    Group Activity
    Have several pictures of series books on cards or 8 X 10 printouts. Pass different out to groups.

    Groups evaluate several book series.

    Criteria to evaluate

    • Brand name/series
    • Media-how/ where it's marketed
    • Target group (new term) age./gender/special interests
    • Tie-ins to other brands…like the example of the Enterprise (tied to new Transformers movie)/Kohl's emails…(dept. store brand name tied to superhero tshirts/brands.

    T/L call on each group to share a different brand.

    Discuss/Review terms learned in 3 lessons.

    May have students verbally fill in cloze paragraph from lesson 1. Project all terms on screen and ask students to describe/define terms.

    If extension project will be done, "promote" it. How would you like to create your own brand? You will be working with your teacher to do this. Then we will share your brands here in the library & your class will vote for their favorite brand. The winner will get a prize..."



    Collaborate with classroom teacher to schedule time. Students will create their own product with a brand.

    Criteria for brand includes:

    • Describe it in words and drawings.
    • What target group is the brand aimed at?
    • Media that will be used to market & promote it.

    Students bring brand ideas to library. Share with class. Class votes for best brand. T/L discussion regarding "why do you think this brand won?" (evaluate final products) Winner gets a "brand" prize such as book from a popular series or branded tshirt. Display winning brand with a blue ribbon in library from each class. Display all other brands as well.


    Assessment Plan

    Lesson 1- cloze paragraph

    Lesson 2-Students evaluate and share company brands

    Lesson 3-T/L monitor groups/call on groups to share activity.

    Extension-Student created brands are evaluated by teacher/librarian/other students during presentations.