Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Kathleen Fenske

In this unit, students will explore media and will focus on how media has different forms based on its purposes, how it can persuade viewers or readers using a variety of elements and tools, and how it reflects a society's values. Students will begin the unit by delving into it with the following questions: What is media? Why do we use different forms of media? Newspapers? Magazine? Internet? Television? Radio? How do effective advertisements hook the consumers? How do we "read" media? Should we believe everything we see and hear? Does media reflect a society or does it shape how a society views itself? What can we learn from media? Through these questions, students will be forced to look at media with a critical eye and become discerning viewers and readers. Through use of media via television, internet, and magazines, students will analyze media as it is used for advertisements. They will analyze advertisements as a class, in cooperative learning groups, and by themselves. Students will also explore the types of media and the terms associated with media. The culminating assessment for students will be to create a commercial advertising candy. Each student will create a piece of candy and will write a proposal for a commercial. Then the students will present their proposals to their cooperative learning groups where the group will decide which commercial to use. Students will have a couple of days to work on their drafts of their commercials and to practice performing it. At the end of the week, students will perform their commercials for the class. As a class, students will vote on the most innovative and creative commercial. Students will finish their projects by completing a group-assessment as well as a self-assessment.

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