To introduce this two-day activity, I begin class by very briefly reviewing the concepts we have been studying from the Introducing Demographics and PEL Presentations. Doing so sets the stage for this activity because it allows the students to connect previous activities to the expectations for this one. It helps them develop confidence that they are prepared to complete this task successfully. During this review, I have the students looking at their notes from the unit so far while they are listening to me, engaging the visual and auditory in tandem.
I pass out the Advertisement Analysis Form that the students will be using for this two day process and walk them through the features and expectations. Students are not told specific times to move from one station to another, but are instead told to use as much time as they need at each station, keeping in mind the fact that they have a finite amount of time to complete the overall task. With four print ads and four commercial ads, in a total of 80 minutes, I remind the students they can think of this process in terms that they have an average of roughly 10 minutes to use per ad.
I give the students the 4 ads for analysis (television) they must complete, but allow them to pick any combination of four print ads from those provided. My only requirement for them when selecting print ads is that they may only select one ad for each product, resulting in having four ads for four different products. This allows the kids to differentiate for themselves, either based on skill, comfort, interest, or a combination of these.
While some students are working on one of the print ads, others are working on commercials. I make it a point to move throughout the room and provide support, clarification, and explanation as needed to ensure student success.
As I mentioned in the previous section of the lesson, the students are not assigned rotations or times explicitly. They are given the ability to determine their own path and pacing to reach the same finish line in the same time frame as their peers.
Some groups opted to start with the assigned television advertisements because they either wanted to just get them out of the way, worried about the time they might need, or even that they wanted to make sure they had access to one of the computers we had access to at the time.
Even though the students are only half way through the activity, I feel it is important for us to reflect on what has been accomplished thus far. I ask students to share out some pluses and deltas (or OFIs) in their own performance and experiences. This is in order to continue fostering a sense of community and culture of continuous improvement, while also providing the students the time and opportunity to determine whether they are making adequate process for the time given, used, and remaining. When the students establish that they feel they could have used time more effectively, for instance, they subconsciously begin planning out the timing for the next day.
I want to help the students grow and continue improving, so I include this time for them with me as the facilitator of thinking, while allowing them as much opportunity to remain independent and own their own growth as much as possible.