The Branding of America

Connections Between Geography, Advertising, and History

Lesson Overview

Do you have a favorite brand of clothing, shoes, or candy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have helped to make history!

By purchasing that bag of Hershey Kisses or box of Kleenex tissues, you help the economy grow and demonstrate how some very creative minds continue to make their mark on American history.

There are hundreds of brand name products available on today's market shelves. So what products have been around for over a hundred years? How did they get their start? Why have they endured over the course of history? Did their success have to do with the quality of the product or some other factor?

In the first part of this lesson, you will learn the answers to these questions!

The Branding of America Interactive Map and Analysis Chart

The Branding of America Map has 25 mini billboards placed throughout the United States. These mini billboards represent products we recognize by their brand names. Rolling over each mini billboard on the map reveals the geographic location of these products. If you click on the mini billboard, you will see a small image of a product that began in that location. If you click on the small image, it will make the picture bigger and you can read some background information about the product.

The Analysis Tool will let you take notes on the computer as you review the map. Click on the Analysis Tool Link that is below the Branding of America Interactive Map Link. When you see the document, There is a drop down box that lists different types of documents that you are viewing. Be sure to select Map in the drop down box.

Next, you will see three boxes: Observe, Reflect, and Question.

In the Observe box, you will see a ? at the top of the box. Click on the ? and an a small box will open. You will be able to see a series of questions by clicking on the Next Prompt link. In the box provided, number and answer each of the questions.

In the Review section, you are to click on the ? at the top of the box and answered each of the prompts for that section as well. Again, you want to remember to number each of your responses.

In the Question section, type any questions that you may have about the map or any of the information that you read.

Once you have answered all the questions, be sure that you save your Analysis Tool on the computer. If you are not sure how to save your work, be sure to ask your instructor for assistance.

Remember that it will be necessary for you will need to move between the Branding Map and Analysis Tool as you complete this portion of the activity. Be sure that you save your work often.

Branding of America Class Discussion/Writing Activities

Now that you have seen and read about the products on the map and used the Analysis Tool, here's a few questions that our class might discuss or I may use as writing prompts:

1. Which product did you find the most interesting and why?

2. What three products on the map do you use the most?

3. What product would you be least likely to use/buy and why?

4. Compare and contrast two food items found on the map.

5. Summarize the information that you learned about one of the items on the map.

The Branding of America and Geography

By now, you should have reviewed all of products and where they were located on the Branding of America Interactive Map. We are now going to practice our map reading skills to answer some geography questions. You will have to type your answers to each of the questions, which will help you to prepare for writing some of the extended response questions on the GED.

Listed below, you will see the name of your teacher. Click on your teacher's name and answer the questions below assigned to your group!

1. In what region of the United States are most of the products being shown on the map?

Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, or Northwest

2. Which state features the most products?

3. What states to the west of the state of Texas feature products?

4. What two southeastern states feature products?

5. What states feature food or food related items? What are these items for each state?

6. What states bordering Pennsylvania feature a product on the map? What state(s) do not?

7. What southern state(s) feature a product?

8. What states feature products on the west coast? What are those products?

9. What states feature products on the east coast? What are those products?

10. Are there any products featured in Alaska or Hawaii? If so, what is the product(S)?

Want to Learn More ???

If you are interested in some "fast facts" about other interesting brand name products, click here.

Would you like to see some interesting product time lines? Check out these two:


Campbell's Soup