Reflection: Student Ownership Analyzing Print Advertisements - Section 2: Warm-up: Student-led video analysis


This was fun!  The Xtra gum ad was a viral video most of the students had seen, which gave it an instant credibility.  I was tempted to do a further analysis of it because it doesn't have any words in it until the very end, thus relying solely on visual appeal and music.  So this will be a good one to use in the future to isolate those features.  Additionally, the father-daughter connection is really cute.  The major part of the discussion was purpose.  The most prominent challenge in teaching rhetorical analysis of advertising is for the students to move beyond "to sell the product," so this actually led nicely into my model of the print ad, in which we focused on the same issue.

We spent less time on the "So God Made a Factory Farm" satire because of time.  The key learning moments were that even though it was very funny, the comedy is largely through logos--logical appeal.  I asked why this turns out to be funny, discussing how part of the comedy is simply someone being so direct--something most of us don't feel comfortable doing.  Additionally, I addressed the one moment in the middle, after it says how Americans have become overweight and not interested in manual labor, that "God made Mexicans."  There was a big laugh there, so I wanted to ask why.  It is one of those moments where it has the shape and feel of being racist, but in fact in the context of the piece it is not--it is used in the larger criticism of American laziness and subsidized farming.  We talked a bit more about it--as I wrote in the description of the model ad, I think it is important to address these kinds of complex, somewhat uncomfortable issues in class so students can look at them though a stronger lens and be more open about them, rather than having academia and culture be in separate worlds.  As with the gum ad, it was a tough decision not to spend more time with this, but this unit is meant as an introduction to rhetorical analysis, so I didn't want to get bogged down with on genre--we'll get to it more in later units.

  Good Resource for the Future
  Student Ownership: Good Resource for the Future
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Analyzing Print Advertisements

Unit 2: Understanding Rhetoric
Lesson 7 of 13

Objective: SWBAT apply rhetorical analysis tools to a static visual advertisement by analyzing two modern advertisements.

Big Idea: Print ads and pictures can carry strong rhetorical appeal.

  Print Lesson
Reading, English / Language Arts, Comprehension (Reading), advertising, rhetoric, rhetorical strategy, rhetorical analysis
  70 minutes
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