Saturday, March 04, 2006

Since I'm not wiki-fied

Stuff like this is what made me even contemplate going into education. In college, I loved doing work and workshops deconstructing advertising. I just find it fascinating.

Last year I was bummed to not have time (or wherewithal) to do any media studies.
This year, I'm excited to tie it into our l!t c!rcles.

The next week will be spent in a mini-drama unit, where the students will write and perform skits based on exciting events in their books.

Without further ado, read on, fellow friends and educators! Let me know what you think!

Media and Advertising Mini Unit

March 20-24
Monday: Introduction
How many of you have a television?
What is media? What is advertising?
Take PBS Quiz and Discuss
Introduce Media Project
HW: TV Ad Matrix

Tuesday: What did you see?
Groups chart ads into categories
Poss: toys, food/drink, beauty/health, tv/movies
Begin discussion of advertising techniques
Testimonial, Celebrity, Lifestyle, Bandwagon
For each technique we discuss, we will find/examine a print ad and then discuss/analyze it.
Then each group will make an ad for their book, using that strategy.

Weds-Friday: Continue learning and analyzing techniques
Ask yourself questions and talk back!

March 27-31
Monday: Target audience and Demographics
Happy Meals
Whose Best Friend?

Tuesday: Fact vs. Opinion in Advertising

Weds: Groups review all techniques and tricks. Then decide which technique they’d like to use for their book ad campaign.
Begin working on print ads.
Target audience: 6th and 7th graders (hopeful exchange with Ms F’s 7th grade ELA)

Thursday/Friday: Inservice

April 3-7
Monday: Analyzing TV ads
(poss Jean Kilbourne video?)

Tues/Weds: Finish Print Ads and Create a Commercial/skit

Thurs/Fri: Perform for 6th and 7th Graders. Hand out print ads as playbills.


Nancy said...

Two questions:
1. What is the TV ad matrix?
2. What is the Jean Kilbourne video you refer to?

It sounds like an interesting and thought-provoking unit. I don't know if middle school kids handle it but it might be interesting to introduce ties in nicely with what you plan to do.

Gwennaƫlle said...

Sorry, I keep on leaving posts on your blog and I still haven't introduced myself.
My name is Gwennaƫlle, I am a pure blooded french living in France having lived in Az and "studying" here to become an english teacher here.
I wrote studying in quotes because here we don't study for that. Teachers are federal workers and to becoime a federal worker here you have to pass a national competition and this is what I am aiming at (the written part will be on the 15th, 16th, 17th of march).
I was wondering which grade you teach and now I know. I have a question or two: in the US do you have a specific programme edited by the governement that you have to complete or are you free to do what you want? Are you making the students study ad and media just to make them understand how advertisement works or is it a part of a larger plan (like making them wonder about the way to communicate through the age or whatever...)?
If you can take the time to answer it will be great but if you can't it's ok :-)

Nancy said...

Gwennaelle (sorry, I don't know how to make the umlaut!)-
In the United States, the tradition has been that education is a state doman, so each state has its own standards but each locality within the state has its own curriculum, so long story short, we don't have a national curriculum but nor are we free to do whatever we want. Here, in New York City, schools use curriculums purchased by the city with the aim of raising test scores, etc but there are also plenty of NYC schools that follow their own curriculum. Confusing, no? LOL. I'll let Jules answer your other question!

Mr. Lawrence said...

I got such a kick out of semiotics and such that I took Communications as a minor and got to read Eco, McLuhan, etc. It's amazing how subversive advertising is (esp. the Abercrombie stuff, which I did a report on) and how we're all basically "programmed consumers."

Eco and McLuhan and Postman are way too tough for the kids, though. ;-)

Jules the Crazy said... friend Wikipedia had to tell me about semiotics right now, though it makes perfect sense. one thing we talked about in one women's studies class was the idea of a diamond. the image and significance was deliberately designed by a marketer and now it's taken as practically fact.

i think it works to bring up examples of this without discussing the official name or theory or anything. it's a practical part of the advertising world. i'll see if i will have time to push it in there somewhere. :)

the tv ad matrix will simply be a chart keeping track of what ads were seen while watching tv, along with when and the program watched.

jean kilbourne is a lecturer and researcher on the effects of advertising. she's made videos (of her talks) dealing with tobacco ads as well as gender/body image advertising.

why am i doing this unit? it's certainly not mandated; it's not even part of our official curriculum. our city seems to run ELA classes to produce major essays/projects (about five for the year). media studies is in the standards, but is not a regularly-scheduled project.

i'm doing this because i really believe in the importance of media literacy. especially this generation, who is bombarded with images, seems to take everything as gospel and for granted. they need to start learning that they are being manipulated. it should be a very eye-opening project.

Nancy said...

i think you should teach them the word semiotics. they will love having such a grown-up word in their vocabulary! you never known when it will come in handy and they will always say "ms. c taught me that in 6th grade!" lol.

Miss Malarkey said...

The last time I taught 8th grade I did some lessons on media literacy, and I remember this site was good, if you haven't stumbled across it already:

Kids love anything that has to do with advertising, tv, etc.