How to Visually Present an Editorial Stance: Making a Flyer (Part 2)

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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

15 minutes


Now that students have collected the basic elements of content -- quotations and images -- it is time to "put it all together."  I introduce this lesson by loading Microsoft Publisher onto the classroom screen.  I show them the "flyer" templates, and ask them to consider which available template would best serve their needs.  I let them make some choices, but remind them that they need roughly four images, a cluster or bulleted text section for copy, and a "sidebar."  Generally, I scroll through the choices on the screen, and then I ask them to launch Publisher and locate the "new document from template" system choice.

As they are loading Publisher, I click over to my teacher example again (see the attached resources), and I reiterate the components of the flyer.  (The flyer components are detailed here, and there is a .pdf copy of this "key" attached in the resources section.)  I use the laser pointer, and I go through each section carefully, pointing out how my layout is but a version of what they can do themselves.  My main concern is that students do not overlook the requirements, and they understand the distinction between the "sidebar" facts (quick, pointed "factoids" that give pause) and the rest of the body copy to the flyer.

Once they have selected the template they want to use and have loaded, I proceed with "guided practice" ...

Guided Practice: Putting It All Together!

30 minutes

As a first step, I ask students to place their images, so they get a feel for the overall look of the final product.  During this step, I circulate in the lab, making sure that they are following some basic rules of visual layout -- no images are facing off the page and the images are balanced in size, color, and general type.  

I also briefly touch upon the use of the color wheel, and I generally post a copy of the color wheel on the screen, explaining how it is use to determine pleasing, contrasting colors.  (There are scads of color wheel images and a rich discussion of using the color wheel in design on the internet, and I have found this website from Microsoft for web developers to be useful.)  I mention that, once images are in place, they should work to create the correct color scheme.

With all of this information swirling about, I circulate to help as I can. 

After the basics of the layout are in place, then students need the "copy" elements.  First, I ask them to type a thesis/claim in a prominent spot, again referring to the model.  I point out for the bulleted text (as is explained in the "key") MUST include at least one "authority" on your topic.  (My example flyer includes the paraphrase from Taylor Branch.)  Also, they MUST include at least one bullet of "counter-argument," namely one contrary remark (which will become important as they move to the text-editorial).

Once all of the elements are in place, I remind them to save, save, save as we are not using Google Docs for this project, and post somewhere for home access (the share drive or simply as an email attachment).  (I have attached the rubric I use for evaluation in the resources section.)

I have attached some excellent student models from the project this year!