Monday, March 17, 2008

Lesson 1: Advertising

My objective with this lesson was to have students understand how prevalent advertisements are, how they attempt to influence us, and what clues they might leave about our culture. Unfortunately, this lesson got off to a shaky start as I was a bit late coming into the classroom, but I think after a few minutes I had it together and was able to execute the lesson for the most part as I had intended. It was my impression before the lesson that it would be difficult for students to differentiate between many advertisements and content, and that was confirmed at the beginning of the lesson when I handed out the magazines. I had planned to use the first few minutes to define the terms but was unable to do that so I decided to define them as needed as we went along, which worked relatively well. After some one-on-one attention I was surprised at how quickly students began to be able to pick out the advertisements. They were able to identify logos and other indicators of advertising. I was also very pleased with how quickly they identified the lesson that they were supposed to take away from the exercise. They understood the subliminal effect advertising can have on them through my examples, were able to identify lessons that historians might take away from advertisements about our culture at this time and relate that to their autobiography projects, and also identify the importance of being able to distinguish between facts and opinions. Participation was very high for this class. I did not get to do the formal written assessment I had wanted to with their paragraphs, but I got more than I expected out of the discussion and was happy with the lesson overall.

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