How to Visually Present an Editorial Stance: Making a Flyer (Part 1)

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SWBAT create a simple, straightforward visual argument through the use of a desktop publishing "flyer" template.

Big Idea

visual argument is an important part of 21st c. literacy

Introduction and Context

10 minutes


Before writing The Editorial, which will be a "classic" short, newspaper-style editorial, I have found it important to organize one's argument.  What with the explosion in visual data and students needs to understand visual argument as well as text-based argument, I decided to guide students to create a "flyer" of their editorial claims and evidence as an important pre-writing exercise.  Also, they will present these flyers to their classmates, thereby practicing our speaking and listening skills. 

There are, certainly, multiple ways to create visual arguments -- posters, info-graphics, slide decks -- but the flyer format is easy to utilize because templates and examples are readily available and the form calls for, at least, a few competent sentences to anchor any images.  In short, the format provides a natural forum for both image and text. 

After explaining these points, I share an teacher-created example (see the .png in the resources of this section).  After I project this file on the classroom screen, I "present" my argument, which I explain is a "model" of the presentation that they will give for their classmates once the flyers are finished.

After presenting my example flyer, I guide students to this Google Doc that details the different sections of the flyer.  I mention that their flyer should look similar to mine, BUT it must include all of the required elements, as outlined on the Google Doc (see the orange star markers).

Pre-Writing 1: Reviewing Your Notes

12 minutes

Once students have a clear understanding of what they will produce, I break the flyer creation into, essentially, two large chunks.  First, and this is today's lesson, they will organize, write, and locate.  

We begin by reviewing all of the recent editorials we have read (as whole class models) or located/researched.  Each student has a number of example editorials he/she has located and read from many internet sources.  I begin by reminding them they have created a "table" (in Google Docs) of important editorials as well as added a number of meaningful editorials to their My Research Interests page of The Research Notebook.

I ask them to open a new doc (which may actually become the final copy of the editorial itself) as a "sandbox" for collecting quotations and practicing/drafting thesis statements and topic sentences.  Then, I direct them to cut-n-paste any quotations from the like editorials they have located -- that is add any direct quotations they may use in the final editorial to the "sandbox" doc.  I do point out, though, that these quotations should be "attention-getting" or they should "grab us," as these particular quotations could fill some of the body copy of the flyer.

I circulate around my lab to provide assistance as they locate, review, and capture pertinent information.  I also help students to provide some "shorthand" attribution for their quotations and paraphrases, as I remind them they will need to have this information for the final written editorial.

Pre-Writing 2: Searching for Images

12 minutes

As a second and final major step BEFORE a lesson on (actually) constructing the editorial flyer, I show students how to use Google Images to search for "royalty free" photos and images.  I mention to students that as an "educational project" it is ok to add images to their flyers from a basic image search, but I do feel responsible to demonstrate how to search for "open" images, as this is a skill needed for 21st c. online literacy.

I ask students "drive" to, and scroll to the second, large section.  Then I point out that they can change the image search results to reflect various usage rights.  (I have attached a copy of a .png file I project when I teach this part of the lesson.)

The rest is easy for high school seniors ... they (each and every one) already know how to save an image to the Desktop and/or a network drive for later use.

Generally, I let this searching run a "natural course" as I have found that they are experts at matching image to text.  I will, however, challenge those students who seem to save the first few hits exclusively.