Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Media study is fun!

"Imagine you're standing on a country road, alone and bored in the middle of nowhere. You hear something getting louder. Around the corner comes a big truck. In the back is a big, loud party! How do you feel?"

"Sad and mad."


"Cause I'm not up there."

"So what are you going to do?"

"Stop the truck and see if I can get on it."

"Aha! THAT is a bandwagon, our fourth method of advertising."

That was yesterday, along with endorsement (the scientific/expert ads).

Today we reviewed all five types, and then briefly discussed 'smaller' techniques that are used within ads. Things like exaggeration, triggering an emotion, using 'eye candy', making it human.

For that one, I asked something and a student brought up a PopTart ad where one of the PopTarts is Irish or something.

So I introduced the word "anthropomorphise" (because apparently I'm British). I broke it down: "'Anthro' is a root meaning 'man' or 'human', like anthropology. And have you ever heard of something 'morphing'?" "Something changing into something else." "Yes, 'morph' like 'metamorphosis' means change. So anthropomorphise means to take an object and make it seem like a person."

Miraculously, I think they got it, because they had all seen ads that do it. Sweet! Look at me, building the lexicons for tomorrow's critical viewing citizens!

I also briefly wrote and mentioned the word 'objectification', but I'm going to save the demo for tomorrow.

Their task from there was to synthesize and apply all their knowledge. (Look at the higher-order thinking! I am a first-rate teacher!) They had to choose one of the methods, and one or more technique, to make a final-project-worthy ad for their l!t c!rcle books (which they've been using to practice each type in class). I gave them construction paper, markers and crayons, and some guidelines (make it clear which type you're using, make it colorful and creative, etc), and told them they're going up on the bulletin board tomorrow.

They excitedly set to work getting started. As they were packing up to go, I actually heard a kid in Class 2 say at the end of class, "This is fun!" I think it was one of those accidental outbursts. But I was happy to hear it. I said, "I'm glad! Has it been fun" to the surrounding students. They nodded. "Has it been interesting and useful?" More nodding.

Hurrah! We're all having fun! THIS is teaching, my friends.

We are supposed to be starting poetry this week. The rest of the teachers are, because their poor kids don't get to do this media analysis study. I think I'll actually finish up the week with media like I originally wanted to. Thus, tomorrow they will finish up their group ads, and then have time to write and quickly rehearse commercials for their books, then Friday they'll perform.

By the way, thanks to Nancy's suggestion awhile back, I signed up on for the teaching-poetry-in-April thing, and was happy to receive a packet of five poetry books to use in class! Go see if you can get in on the deal! If nothing else, they've got poems *and* lessons to teach them. Excellent. I think my poetry unit will begin on Monday.


Wednesdays are supposedly an 'easy' day for me; I teach the first two and the last three periods. However.

--Third period I had a coverage, for girls' gym. It was fun! They played volleyball (two courts, with FIFTEEN girls on each side of each court), and had decent, excited games.

--Lunchtime, I had to go to my room because those pesky children are always showing up, wanting to see me and help me and hang out. I let them get lunch and bring it up to the room, so that I can snag their tater tots. Yum. Again, however. I also cannot normally stay in the room the whole time, as there are many other things to be done. Today I had to run out and make copies, since the copier was actually working again, for the first time in a week. But the kids stayed in my room and did their thing like the good little children they are.

--Fifth period, I had a meeting with students to finish up the P#nny H#rvest. That took the whole 'hour.'

--I noticed the sky out the window; it was the color of a week-old bruise, and kind of creepy.
Later I went to the bathroom. The window was open and I could see that it was pouring down rain...but something wasn't right; I realized that I couldn't hear anything. First I thought, huh, what kind of material is over here that absorbs sound that well? Well, I looked outside and was completely dumbfounded to see that those sheets of rain were actually big fat snowflakes!

--My classes after that, despite the falling snow in April out the windows, were so great. We did theme with a shared reading piece, and actually had an extended class discussion about it, beginning with story detail questions, moving to inference and analysis questions, leading up to them writing the theme of the story. They faithfully paid attention and participated, and I was proud of their thinking and grateful for their good behavior.

--Last period, my Chatty Class Number One was hopped up. A few were out of the room for some silly thing, and so the class felt looser and less official, if that makes sense. But they shaped up and we got our stuff done.

--I got my brakes looked at after school. It took nearly an hour and a half, but I didn't mind. It wasn't the brakes that were bad; there was air in the system. So they flushed it out and replaced the brake fluid. And now all is better, and it was much cheaper than needing the brakes replaced. Again, hurrah!

--At home I had some fantastic email that made me smile and swoon.

--I really don't know why I had such a pleasant day in the middle of the week before Spring Break.


Anonymous said...

Unexpectedly nice days are the straberries on a Julie Taco!

Who'd you get the flattering e-mails from, huh? huh?

Tacoma's spring break is this week, I'm spending it applying for jobs and helping Brandon move. Go for that new apartment, change is good!

the reflective teacher said...

That's just awesome! It's really great when teaching goes either just right, or even better than expected. Sounds like your day was even better than expected.