Creating Persuasive Media

Creating Persuasive Media


In this lesson, students analyze internet memes in order to discuss the elements that combine to create persuasive media. Using the knowledge they gain from this lesson, the students research a current event of their choosing and create an internet meme that attempts to change or sway public perception about that event. These internet memes are posted on a class blog, where students reflect on their own work and critique the work of their classmates.

TIPC Ratings

Approaching – 4

Prior to this assignment, students are taught appropriate search and source evaluation techniques. Before the students create their memes, they use a variety of online news websites (,, etc.) to research a current event of their choosing. In this step of the assignment, the students select information sources and content that are relevant and appropriate for their own interests and the interests of their classmates. Students then use their research to select and locate an appropriate image for the final product. This task is authentic because the topics of research are relevant and interesting to the students, the students post their work for an outside audience, and the students practice and refine a skill that can be put to use outside of the classroom – Persuasion.

Approaching – 4

Throughout the assignment, students use digital tools to communicate and collaborate with their classmates. The Google Doc Spreadsheet, ActivEngage results, and the Blog or Schoolspace Discussion Board allow the students to share ideas. Some aspects of collaboration are evident within the lesson because the students use the aforementioned digital tools to not only communicate and express ideas, but to help each other strengthen individual work and understanding of concepts (such as persuasive techniques). If the teacher wishes to emphasize this strand further, students can truly collaborate in groups by forming roles, dividing tasks, and making common decisions about one meme. Ultimately, this could make the memes stronger, but would likely take more class time to complete.

Ideal – 7

The main goal of the assignment is for students to be able to influence each other’s perceptions and opinions through use of persuasive techniques. Students select and apply the tools that best complete this task. Students may use Photoshop, Paint, or another tool of their choice that creates an appropriate product. The students also select and apply the most appropriate persuasive strategies. Students may focus on humor in their memes, reference pop culture topics, or use contrasting elements within the image to create a sense of irony. Students justify their choice of strategies and tools within their individual blog posts. In their blog post, students think critically and reflect on how the media can shape public perception. Students reference specific examples from current events in this essay, adding to the authenticity of the task. To further strengthen the critical thinking strand and bring an effective close to the assignment, the teacher could poll the students at the end of the lesson as to which memes were most persuasive, similar to how the teacher completes the first activity with the “pepper spray cop” memes. The students could generate conclusions and discuss the strongest and weakest memes in the class, further increasing their understanding persuasive techniques.

Ideal – 7

Creativity and Innovation were a main focus of this lesson. During the whole class portion of the assignment, the students use the Wordseed feature of ActivEngage to analyze trends that occur in the most persuasive and least persuasive forms of media. Ultimately, the students complete the assignment by creating a product that is displayed for a wide audience. In order to create this product, the students must select the most appropriate digital tools and persuasive techniques to use. Students may choose to use Photoshop, Paint, or another tool based on their experience with the tool, the image they wish to create, and the persuasive techniques that they employ. Within this assignment, many students take risks in creating their final product. A large number of the student memes focus on humor and controversial topics, which are generally not emphasized in the school classroom. In responding to other student’s memes, the students reflect on their own creativity and artistic choices. However, in order to strengthen this strand even further, the creative process could be further emphasized within the lesson. The teacher could focus on the design cycle (investigate, design/plan, create, evaluate), and have the students reflect specifically on these steps within the creative process.

Student Artifact


Download Files

Creating Persuasive Media – H21 Lesson Resources – Lesson #6102

  • H21 Lesson Plan – Creating Persuasive Media
  • Internet Meme Instructions and Rubric
  • Student Work Samples
  • UC Davis – 99% Protest Reading Document
  • Media and Persuasion Flipchart
  • Link to Explanation of Flipchart

This post was written by:

- who has written 51 posts on Henrico 21.

Contact the author

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Quick Links

Faceted Search (click arrows to expand)