They had read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury in all classes and focused on the following concepts:
dangers of advancing technology, interactive television, focus on selling, everything without value, manipulation of the masses by media, an essay on how Bradbury's predictions have come true in our culture.
They completed a research paper in which students had to take a side and prove a point:
persuasive writing appeals, they created an advertising PowerPoint using propaganda techniques, they evaluated programs on current television, they also searched for grammar mistakes in ads and discovered what television and media are really telling us.
The connection to their Odyssey and Mythology Unit: Students had to present a commercial following the Ad day program. The commercial had to be based on a mythological figure (examples: Apollo Sunscreen, Cerberus Collars, Apollo Flashlights).
Ad Day Library Program Description:
General: 1 day with 6 stations. Students were allotted 8 minutes per station. Each day students went through 4 of the 8 stations. The teachers divided the students into groups using different ads.
Station 1: On wall outside library- 3 poster sized ads. Students had to evaluate the effectiveness of each ad and list what propaganda techniques were used. They also had to list persuasive devices and various appeals.
Station 2: Presented on large TV in library. Students watched YouTube videos about how food is prepared for ad photographs and how professional model's photos are airbrushed.
Station 3: iPad station. Students watched three commercials and compared their effectiveness.
Station 4: Students were given a "shopping basket" with photos of items from the grocery store. They were tasked with identifying what kind of person would be selecting these items. They were also given a picture of a person and were asked to predict what sorts of products would be in their basket.
Station 5: Matching real companies with names from myths to the reason why they have that name- like Atlas Van Lines, Medusa Hair Salon, Starbuck's Siren Logo.
Station 6: Projector. Students were asked to observe product placement and movie trailers. They were asked the question: "How are products being sold in these venues?"
Click here for a link to a Dropbox folder containing all the documents and materials associated with this program.
Next year we want to give them a product and require them to figure out a way to sell it. We also want to bring in an expert on ads/ advertising from a local college and search for other community resources to add to this event.
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