Seven Word Billboard Lessons Educate Students While Classrooms are Closed

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WorkInProgress developed the campaign using billboards near homes across the US to feature teacher-generated lessons
Seven Word Billboard Lessons Educate Students While Classrooms are Closed

Full-service innovation and advertising agency WorkInProgress (WIP) is partnering with teachers to create ‘Seven-Word Lessons,’ a nationwide initiative designed to daily engage the minds of K–8th-grade children while homes serve as classrooms resulting from Covid-19. 

Beginning Monday, May 18th, the bite-sized lessons will be displayed on large-format, digital billboards in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Kansas City, Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles at 12 pm EST daily. Placements will be near high-density housing and are designed so families can view the messages from their homes. For families who are not in the vicinity of the boards, learning materials will also be posted online at Seven-Word Lessons Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels. Teachers can submit lessons for the program at sevenwordlessons.com.

The lessons are seven words because short-term memory holds, on average, seven items. In advertising, it’s therefore a good rule of thumb to keep billboard headlines within this limit. Initial Seven-Word Lessons include:

  • Spanish: the official language of 20 countries. (Señorita Goff | Middle School Teacher, DeKalb, IL)
  • Insects have six legs. Spiders have eight. (Ms. Bahamonde | Special Education Teacher, Great Falls, VA)
  • A square is just a rectangular rhombus. (Alex | High School Math Teacher, Boulder, CO)

Over the course of 30 days, 300 to 400 lessons will be published. Each billboard will feature seven-word lessons along with information about the teachers who submitted them. Teachers will be paid $25 for each lesson published, or they can donate their payment to DonorsChoose, an educational nonprofit that helps classrooms in need.

WIP’s founders felt an immediate concern when schools shut down and challenged their team to turn a traditional advertising platform into an educational tool for kids stuck at home. After coming up with the concept for Seven-Word Lessons, their out-of-home buying partner ODN helped secure billboards across the country to support the initiative for the first month. Special thanks to Kevani, Mile High Outdoor, JCDecaux, Orange Barrel, Outfront Media, and EYE Corp Media, who discounted and donated space for the project. The team hopes to find partners to evolve and fund the initiative in new ways moving forward. That could mean more money going to support teachers, more media space in more cities, or new ways to share seven-word lessons with kids around the country and beyond.

“Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘All of life is a constant education.’ That’s true now more than ever—and even better, it also happens to be seven words,” said Matt Talbot, chief creative officer at WIP. He noted how homeschooling has been challenging for teachers, parents, and students, and that the daily lessons are meant to add a small bit of routine and fun to families’ lives while they’re stuck at home. “Suddenly, teachers were forced to teach without their classrooms, and they’ve worked incredibly hard to adapt,” Talbot added. “We’re happy if this initiative can give them one more simple tool to connect with their students. Don’t worry, kids, there are no plans to post any final exams.”


City/Addresses to get involved:

Boston: 240 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

Kansas City: 1370 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64106 

Denver: 455 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246

D.C.: 48-32 N St SE, Washington, DC 20003

L.A.: 901 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 

New York: 7000 Roosevelt Ave, Queens NY 11377

New York: 240 W 167th St, The Bronx, NY 10452

New York: 1627 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

New York: 1494 Bronx River Ave, The Bronx, NY 10472

Phoenix: 50 W Jefferson St Suite 180, Phoenix, AZ 85003 

Chicago: 859 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60642


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Categories: Education, Corporate, Social and PSAs

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