Lesson Plan : Junk Mail Persuasive Redux

Teacher Name:
 A.Cicak
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Language Arts

Topic:
 Persuasion: Using Junk Mail to Better Understand Persuasive Techniques
Content:
 Pursuasion. Important terms: Style / Credibility / Evidence / Tone / Diction
Goals:
 To introduce students to the methods of persuasion used by business in order to open up the broader picture of all forms of persuasion.
Objectives:
 To crack open the part of the brain that can think critically about persuasive techniques (The B.S. detector...)
Materials:
 Real junk mail, art supplies to create junk mail, markers and a white or black board.
Introduction:
 Before the day of the lesson, the teacher asks students to collect several pieces of junk mail.
Development:
 Teacher should bring something from home that is worn down or just plain broken. Maybe a toaster, a busted VCR, etc., Teacher attempts to "sell" the item to a student. The student will probably protest. Teacher asks why the student does not want to buy the lousy product. Student should give an adequate answer, something equal to "it's a piece of crap, why would I ever buy it?" Teacher then invites either that student or another to attempt to find a better way to sell the item.
Practice:
 After discussing why the sale of the lousy item did or did not work, the teacher asks the students to produce their examples of junk mail. The students break into groups of 2-4 and analyze the junk mail they have collected. They choose one piece to thoroughly "unpack" and then present their findings to the class.
Accommodations:
 My philosophy on differentiated instruction is simple: Group or pair students with different abilities to complement each other. Hint: Always make "troublemakers" the leader of their group, even if they are not an "A" student.
Checking For Understanding:
 The junk mail produced by the students will demonstrate whether or not they understand.
Closure:
 See if the school newspaper will actually run the best ad or ads for your bogus product in the school newspaper. Bonues points if anyone actually attempts to purchase the item.
Evaluation:
 See "Closure"

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