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Grants: TeachNet Adaptors 2009
The Art of Argument and Persuasion
Name: Jacqueline Davis
School: MS 584
Address: 130 Rochester Avenue
City: Brooklyn, NY, 11213
Email davis.jacqueline@gmail.com
Original Project: The Art of Argument and Persuasion
Author: Jeff Foote
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/santab2003/

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: I modified this in several ways. First, instead of using an LCD projector to display and demonstrate correlations between television and commercials, I used magazines and printed advertisements. Second, I altered the time frame for the lessons themselves. For example, each lesson originally suggested using at least two to three 50 minute periods. I expanded this to about a week of lessons.(I eliminated Lesson #3 Social Issues and Persuasion, as it did not tie into my learning objectives.) Third, I allowed students to use paper larger than 11x18 inches for their final work product.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  Students will recognize and be able to explain the link between advertisement and audience purpose in a magazine or television show. They will infer relationships between the audience appeal of a media outlet and the products advertised.
  Students will be able to make a reasonable case for an opinion or point of view, based on evidence and provide an explanation of their reasoning.
  Students will consider the effective elements in print and internet advertisements, and use these to create their own original advertisement of a product, idea or point of view. They will use graphics and images to capture the attention of the target audience.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: We utilized the internet for graphics/images and observing correlations between magazine and internet advertisements. We also used printers and digital cameras to take photos of our final work products.

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: Teacher observation, student presentations, advertisement rubric, and direct feedback.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: I am a first year Special Education teacher and graduate student. Prior to working as a teacher, I spent four years as a media specialist and public relations executive. Tying my past professional knowledge with this unit gave me a chance to teach my students more about media (which they love), persuasion, and finding creative ways to showcase their own interests.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: This is a highly engaging unit. My students were extremely interested in, and invested in, their final work product, as it displayed their own interests and incorporated kinesthetic and visual based elements into it. I have the work products on my bulletin board outside and the students are so proud. I would just adapt some of the time frames provided by the originator of this lesson. Some lessons take less time than suggested.

Samples of Student Projects

  Final work product for Christina, who advertised a dress clothing line.
  Final work product for Kristine, who advertised a clothing line that incorporated her favorite celebrity as a spokesperson. She included a web site, special discounts on the clothing line, and made her own logo.
  Final work product for Ramel, who took his favorite interest (basketball) and created his own basketball team called Team York. Highly creative and engaging activity that Ramel enjoyed.,Final work product for Ashley, who has severe learning disabilities and was able to shine in this project. She incorporated her love of cooking and food recipes into her advertisement for a web site that provides recipes to consumers.
  Final work product for Kalesha, who utilized celebrity spokespeople to attract her target audience to purchase clothing from her own fashion line.


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