Chris Adcock
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Exhibits
  • Grade 11 ELA
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Appealing To An Audience

    Appealing To An Audience


    In this lesson, students will look at ways an exhibit is created to appeal to a wide range of audiences. They will consider how they will identify the audience for their exhibit and tailor their work to provide their audience with the best possible experience.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Find the Tenement Museum website ( and share it with your students. If you do not have Internet access in the classroom, you can print and distribute the exhibit.
    • Review the Tenement Museum website and select examples from it that can help students see how it connects with its audience.

    Tenement Museum Exploration

    • Demonstrate some key examples of identifying an audience's previous knowledge or perspective and building on them in this exhibit. You can use the examples you chose or highlight the following examples:
      • ✓ The exhibit identifies Lukas Glockner's desire to make money. Even though he's from a different time period and makes money in a way that most of the audience probably doesn't, the fundamental desire to strike it rich in America is something most of an American audience would recognize instantly.
      • ✓ In the section called “Hallway/Ruin Apartment,” the text refers to the lack of light, heat, toilets, and running water. Since most spectators have those things, the exhibit references them specifically in order to connect with the audience and then show them an alternative perspective.
      • ELL: Keep in mind that some students may have different views of this exhibit due to life experiences, whether in the United States or another country. If students have different or controversial insights, be sure to allow for extra time so that they can explain further (some may have experienced conditions resembling the tenement depicted in the museum).


    Your teacher will guide you as you explore the Tenement Museum and demonstrate some key examples of the ways it is tailored to its audience.

    An exhibit can build a connection with an audience by connecting with the audience’s preexisting knowledge or emotions and then building on that knowledge or connecting to those emotions.

    • In your museum exhibit team, look further into the exhibit and choose one key example of something else the exhibit does to connect with its audience.
    • Be prepared to share your example and impressions in the next section of the lesson.
    • Designate one group member who will do the sharing. It should be a member of the group who has not yet performed this duty unless you have all taken at least one turn.

    Tenement Museum Class Discussion

    • Let students share their examples and then lead a brief discussion so students can consider different ways to connect with the audience of their exhibits.
    • Judge the time for this part of the activity based on how much you want to save for students to work individually.

    Work Time

    Share your example with the class along with your understanding of what it does to preserve something important for future generations.

    Then participate in a Whole Group Discussion that touches on some of the following issues.

    • How does this exhibit connect with what you already know?
    • How does this exhibit help you learn more about what you already know?
    • How does this exhibit take something familiar to you encourage you to see it in a new way?
    • How will you provide opportunities for your audience to recognize familiar things so they can learn new things?

    Work Plan 6

    • Students' work plans will allow you to check in with them more easily. By pulling up each student's plan as you circulate around the room, you can help keep them productive, and you can also engage in fruitful conversations about how to make effective plans that really work.
      • SWD: Based on how the previous work plans have gone, you can provide students whom you know will need extra support with a conferencing checklist that focuses on organization and development so they have concrete points to focus on as they work.

    Work Time

    Before you begin work, look at the next task and choose course of action. Write a plan for what you will do during the work session.

    Write your responses to these questions.

    • Will you work together with other students? Who?
    • What do you plan to accomplish in the work session?
    • What are your highest priorities for the remaining Work Time?
    • What specific changes or additions will you make to your exhibit to help your audience connect to your materials?

    Open Notebook

    Artifact Development

    • This is one of the last opportunities for students to deal with any serious issues in their exhibits, so identify any groups, subgroups, or individuals who need help and work with them.
      • SWD: This is a good opportunity to check in with any students who needed guidance in creating their work plan to assess how well they’re doing and provide support as necessary.

    Work Time

    Follow your plan from the previous task.

    • If your teacher has assigned your group an additional artifact, you may wish to work on it during this time, as you will have to submit it in the next lesson.
    • If your teacher has not assigned your group an additional artifact, you will need to resubmit a revised version of your original artifact with revised placard text in the next lesson.
    • You may also choose to revisit any of the key aspects of a museum exhibit that you’ve learned about so far and refine your own exhibit in order to accomplish one of them more effectively.

    Exhibit Status Update 6

    • These reports offer students an opportunity to reflect on their progress thus far, and they also offer you daily opportunities to assess and influence student progress. Try to make sure no students are loafing through the process and offloading responsibilities on others.
    • You can also encourage good group work habits such as mixing up tasks and subgroups from day to day.
      • ELL: This is one of the few remaining opportunities to check in with ELLs and address any questions or misunderstandings. In place of a written reflection, you can conference with them one-on-one or lead a small group discussion.


    Before the lesson ends, assess your work for the day by answering these questions.

    • With whom did you work?
    • What did you accomplish during the work session?
    • What specific changes have you made to your full exhibit today?
    • What specific work will you do on your exhibit during the one work session remaining?

    Open Notebook

    When you finish, submit your update to your teacher.

    Independent Artifact Development

    • Remind students that they only have a few more lessons to work on their exhibits.


    • Depending on what your teacher has assigned, finish your new artifact and placard or revise your previous artifact and placard and be prepared to submit them tomorrow.