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Elements of a Brochure: What Makes an Effective Brochure?

Lesson Plan

Elements of a Brochure: What Makes an Effective Brochure?


In this unit, students learn the elements of a brochure. Students will:

  • recognize the components of a brochure.
  • examine the qualities of an effective brochure.
  • evaluate published brochures based on the criteria of what makes an effective brochure.
  • understand the purpose of and use text features in informational writing.
  • demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Essential Questions

How do grammar and the conventions of language influence spoken and written communication?
How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
What is the purpose?
What is this text really about?
What makes clear and effective writing?
Why do writers write?
  • What makes clear and effective writing?
  • Why do writers write? What is the purpose?
  • Who is the audience? What will work best for the audience?
  • How do grammar and the conventions of language influence spoken and written communication?
  • How does one best present findings?
  • What does a reader look for and how can s/he find it?


  • Advertisement: The public announcement of something such as a product, service, business, or event to get people interested in it.
  • Audience: The intended readers of a particular piece of writing.
  • Article: A special adjective: a, an, the.
  • Brochure: A small booklet or pamphlet, often containing event, location, or product information.
  • Coordinating Conjunction: A conjunction that connects equal parts: and, but, or, nor, so, yet.
  • Informational Text: Text that gives factual information about any topic.
  • Preposition: A word that shows position or direction: by, of, in, at, on, up, to, out, for, off.
  • Purpose: The reason or reasons that a person creates a piece of writing. The eleven different types of purpose include to express (or voice), to describe, to explore/learn, to entertain, to inform, to explain, to argue, to persuade, to evaluate (or judge), to problem solve, and to mediate (or settle differences). Writers often combine purposes within a piece of writing.
  • Text Features: The parts of printed items that help the reader find and learn information easily: print features, organizational aids, graphic aids, and pictures/illustrations.


45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.


  • a collection of brochures for various tourist attractions around the world. A travel agency would be a good place to find these brochures. Hotels and motels also have a large assortment of travel brochures. You may also find brochures online.
  • science or social studies text or other informational material to model text features
  • scrap paper
  • chart paper
  • markers
  • Text Features handout (LW-3-1-2_Text Features.docx), one copy per student
  • The 5 Ws worksheet (LW-3-1-2_The 5 Ws.doc), two copies per student
  • Six Flags® brochure found at or Knoebels Camping brochure (LW-3-1-2_CampBro2010.pdf)

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

Formative Assessment

  • View
    • The goal of this lesson is to introduce and foster students’ understanding of the text features in a brochure. Observe and listen to students as they work and talk with their partners to find the text features in a brochure. Make anecdotal notes of which students appear to be having difficulty with the task and provide assistance as necessary. Also note students who have a solid understanding of these elements and encourage them to work on the Extension activity.
    • Student participation should assist you in understanding the level of comprehension students are achieving. Do an informal assessment by reviewing students’ 5 Ws worksheet. At this point you can redirect or reteach the lesson for students who need further instruction.

Suggested Instructional Supports

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    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Modeling, Explicit Instruction
    W: Students examine different brochures to determine what information needs to be included in a brochure to make it effective. Students work as a class to determine what makes an effective brochure and to compile those ideas into an anchor chart for future reference. Students learn about text features and work as a class and then with a partner to determine the text features of a brochure. 
    H: Begin by telling students they are going to choose an imaginary field-trip location based only on the quality of the brochure. 
    E: Students work with a partner to identify the parts of a brochure. They share this information with another pair of students and look into any unanswered questions. Students have the opportunity to add to the information they initially gathered from the brochure. 
    R: Students share their ideas with classmates. They are given an opportunity to change the information they included in their 5 Ws worksheet after discussion with peers. 
    E: Through group discussions and peer revision, students are given the opportunity to assess their own understanding of the elements of a brochure. The Extension activity gives students the opportunity to extend their thinking skills. 
    T: Students are given the opportunity to see concrete examples, discuss their ideas with a partner and the whole class, and work independently to ensure their understanding of the elements of a brochure. 
    O: Students are taken through an introductory activity, a large-group lesson (which is modeled), and an independent or small-group activity; they are given the opportunity to discuss with their peers what they found. 

Instructional Procedures

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    Focus Question: What makes an effective brochure?

    Language Skills Mini-Lesson

    Hand a different travel brochure to each pair of students. “Before you explore the text features of your different brochures, let’s look at their titles. There may be many titles inside, such as headers on different sections, in addition to the title on the front of your brochures. Look through the brochure that you and your partner share. What do you notice about the words in the titles? Are there some words that are capitalized and some that are not? What words are capitalized? What words are all lowercase?” On the board, write the words in two different columns as students read off examples (capitalization intact). “What pattern do you notice about the lowercase words? What parts of speech are they?” Note: Depending on the professional quality of the brochures, the words may be correctly or incorrectly capitalized. Guide students to note mistakes and adhere to the rules that you outline. “The lowercase words in titles are articles, short prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions. Besides these parts of speech, you should capitalize all other words that are in titles.

    “Let’s get a better idea of what these lowercased words are. There are only three articles: a, an, the.” Write these on the board and label them. “Prepositions are words that show position or direction: by, of, in, at, on, up, to, out, for, off.” Write these words on the board and label them. “Notice that I only included prepositions that are very short because only these are lowercase in titles. Other words that are not capitalized in titles are coordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions connect equal parts: and, but, or, nor, so, yet.” Add these words under a separate label on the board.

    Display a brochure and reflect aloud why each word in the title is or isn’t capitalized. “With your partner, choose a title in your brochure and explain why each word is or isn’t capitalized. Repeat this with a few more titles.”

    Read various titles aloud and have students write correct capitalization for each on a piece of paper. Review the answers as a class. Have students write the titles on the board to model the correct answers.

    Part 1

    “Now we will move on and explore the rest of your brochures. We are going on a pretend field trip! We are going to pick the destination based on the brochure. Whichever place has the best brochure is where we are going to pretend to go!

    “Let’s go over the text features that we commonly see in informational text. There are four general categories: print features, organizational aids, graphic aids, and illustrations.” Distribute the handout Text Features (LW-3-1-2_Text Features.docx). Show students examples of each text feature (use a science or social studies text or other informational material to model) and discuss the importance of each.

    • Print Features: font, italics, bold print, colored print, bullets, titles, headings, subheadings, labels, sidebars, text boxes, and captions
    • Organizational Aids: table of contents, index, glossary, preface, pronunciation guide, and appendix
    • Graphic Aids: diagrams, sketches, graphs, comparisons, figures, maps, charts, tables, cross-sections, timelines, and overlays
    • Illustrations: colored photographs, colored drawings, black and white photographs, black and white drawings, labeled drawings, and enlarged photographs

    As students look through their brochure, have them star what appeals to them. After they are finished, have them identify and label what type of feature each star is next to. This will reinforce the text features concept. Ask students to write what appealed to them and why on a sticky note and discuss the elements with their partner.

    Once students have had the opportunity to talk with their partner and look over a variety of brochures, bring the class back together. On a piece of chart paper, write the title, What Makes an Effective Brochure, and have students place their sticky notes on the chart to create a list of student-generated criteria for what an effective brochure looks like.

    From this list, create a permanent anchor chart that can be displayed in the classroom as a reference for students.

    Part 2

    In addition to text features, teach students about the 5 Ws of informational writing. Direct students’ attention to the chart paper titled “The 5 Ws” with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “why” written down the left-hand side. Explain that the class is going to read a brochure and then fill in the 5 Ws chart together. (Any advertisement brochure will work; just make sure all students can clearly see the brochure.)

    Hand out the 5 Ws worksheet (LW-3-1-2_The 5 Ws.doc). As a class, read through the Knoebels Camping brochure (LW-3-1-2_CampBro2010.pdf) or the Six Flags brochure at

    Use these questions to engage your students in a discussion:

    • “Using the information in the brochure, what are the answers to the 5 Ws?” Ask students to raise their hands to share their responses as you record their answers. Assist students as necessary, modeling the correct answer to each of the 5 Ws on the board.
    • “Why would this information be included in a brochure?” (If you were going to visit this place you would want to know this information. It would help you decide if this is somewhere that you want to go, based on where it is, when it is open, what you would do while you were there, etc.)
    • “What other information would you like to know before deciding if you are going to visit this place?” (Answers could include cost, what to bring, how to dress, is there food available, is there parking, can I take pictures, can I bring my own picnic, etc.) Jot these questions down on a separate piece of chart paper with the heading Additional Information. Challenge students to find this information in the brochure.
    • “What can you tell me about the pictures, photographs, and other graphics in the brochure?” (The people in the pictures and/or photographs are smiling and having a good time; the most important or exciting things are included in the brochure because the company wants you to see the best they have to offer so you will visit. The pictures, photographs, and/or graphics are colorful and appealing.) If you are using a brochure that does not have pictures, start the discussion this way: “If there were no pictures, photographs, or graphics, what would you want to see?”
    • “How is a brochure the same as an advertisement that you would see on a billboard or on TV?” (The purpose is to inform the audience, so they buy the product or visit the location.)
    • “How is a brochure different from an advertisement that you would see on a billboard or on TV?” (A brochure includes more detailed information about the topic or product.)

    Next, have students work with a partner to choose a brochure that they find appealing. Tell students, “Read through the brochure with your partner. Using the information that you found in the brochure, answer the questions on the 5 Ws handout.”

    Then have pairs meet with another pair that does not have the same brochure they do. Ask students to share the information in their brochure with the other pair. Ask the groups to discuss whether there is additional information that someone would want to know before deciding to visit this place. See if students can locate that information in the brochure. Instruct them to put this information in the Additional Information section of the handout.

    Have students discuss the pictures, photographs, and other graphics in their group of four. Ask students, “What do you see in the pictures, photographs, and graphics? Why do you think the author of the brochure included these in the brochure?” (Answers may include to show readers how much fun they can have at this place, to show readers some of the things they would see if they visited, etc.)

    Ask groups to discuss which of the two brochures they think does a better job of giving information to the reader. Why? Have the group decide which brochure provides the best or most appropriate information to help them decide which place they would like to go on the imaginary field trip. The group needs to decide on one brochure or the other. (You should have only three to five brochures still in contention. If not, have the groups join together again.)

    Have students lay the chosen brochures out on their desks. Invite the class to do a gallery walk—a reflective instructional strategy. During this walk, students reflect on their learning about effective writing, and then evaluate each of the remaining brochures for its overall appeal and use of text features as they relate to the audience and purpose. (Give each student a sticky-note pad to write down the strengths and weakness of each brochure. Have students walk around the classroom, evaluate each brochure, and then place their completed sticky notes next to the appropriate brochures. As in an art gallery, talking is discouraged. If you have more than one copy of the five remaining brochures, it would be good to display the extra copies so that students are more spread out during their gallery walk.) When students have evaluated all the brochures, ask for students to share their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each. Finally, hold a secret vote to see what the destination of the “class field trip” will be.


    • Have students use specific pages from a science or social studies textbook and have them go on a “Text Feature Scavenger Hunt.” The student who finds the most text features in a given amount of time wins.
    • Have students examine an informational brochure and determine the different text features in an informational brochure (e.g., a brochure you would find in your doctor’s office or pharmacy about arthritis or chicken pox) versus one that is advertising something.
    • If students are having difficulty understanding the text features and information included in a brochure, ask them to think of a familiar place or event. Have them work to fill in the 5 Ws sheet about that place based on their own background knowledge. Then work up to locating the 5 Ws information in a brochure.

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Final 05/10/2013
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