I started doing this project a few years ago. It was May and state testing was complete (yeah!), but students were still finishing up their MAP testing. I was struggling to decide what to do during language arts once testing was 100% complete... I wanted to do something new and fun that would keep them engaged during the last few weeks of school, but I was struggling to come up with an idea to do that.
As I was walking around, proctoring the test session, I noticed that some fifth graders were being given questions about advertising techniques. The multiple choice questions contained specialized vocabulary like bandwagon, testimonial, and glittering generality. Aha! I had found my final ELA unit!
My first step in planning this unit was determining the vocabulary I wanted my students to learn. Based on the available time we had before the school year ended (along with Field Day, the 5th grade trip to the middle school, etc.), I chose five terms: bandwagon, testimonial, name calling, glittering generality, and repetition. (The next year I had a few additional days, so I included slogan, snob appeal, and transfer.)
Next, I paged through several magazines, searching for examples of each type of advertising technique I had identified.
Finally, I prepared my rubric... more on that in a second!
We covered one advertising technique each day. I started with bandwagon. After defining it, I used the document camera to show them the examples I had found in magazines, and we talked about the specific wording on each advertisement that could be classified as using bandwagon propaganda.
After that discussion on the first day, I told them about the project they would be creating. For the next five days, we would be learning about different types of propaganda (advertising techniques). Each day, following the discussion, they would get to show their understanding of the term by creating their own advertisement that used the technique on a half-sheet of paper. I showed them by own example, along with the rubric that I would be using to grade their final project.
|This is my quick example I showed my students.|
|Border by Kelly Benefield.|
My students loved this project, and I enjoyed watching them tap into their creativity. They were SO proud of their finished projects!
|Name calling advertisement|
|This student was extremely proud of his testimonial advertisement!|
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