Starbucks Holiday Cup Lesson Plans

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While the evolution of the Starbucks “holiday” cup is [arguably] a bit mundane for all of the media attention it has received, it certainly provides a rich context for rhetorical analysis.  This lesson is absolutely brimming with engagement and rigor.


What you can expect with this lesson pack:

  • Four scaffolded handouts for conducting an analysis of visual rhetoric — each handout containing a different cup (designed for ‘jigsaws’ / diversified small-group work)
  • A graphic organizer scaffolding the process of comparing and contrasting Starbucks’ visual argument with those made by a rival coffee company
  • A writing prompt that targets rhetorical analysis and synthesis across multiple articles written regarding the “red cup controversy”

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Lesson Features

Lesson Focus Visual rhetoric; synthesis; argumentative writing
Grades Middle and secondary (flexible: 7 through 12)


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