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Monday, May 7, 2012

Analyzing Persuasive Advertisements

Thank you all so much for your comments about our lemonade stand. Sometimes I think I bit off more than I could chew, but all things considered... I think it will go fine on Friday.

Last week we analyzed advertisements. First, we defined the word advertisement by looking it up in the dictionary. (Always using those reference skills!)

Next step: Model analyzing advertisements by playing two advertisements on the SmartBoard. I tried to find one "boy" and one "girl" toy- but, of course, you could do a food ad, or something else, too.

I may or may not have totally wanted a similar Barbie Dream House when I was little.

Together, we identified what they were trying to convince us to do, the persuasive words they used, the persuasive images they used, and any other ways they tried to persuade us (music, showing movement, reminding us about a holiday, etc.)

It is amazing to see the things they notice once you start pointing them out. I make a point of telling them something like, "Wow! If only I had that Barbie dream house, I would be SO happy and have a ton of friends and it would work JUST like a real house!" They always immediately correct me, but we point out how ads want you to think buying their product will make you so beautiful or popular or cool or good at sports- but that's not always true.

Once we did the TV column together, I set the kids loose in groups with some print ads from the newspaper to look for the same things.

Even if you're not doing a lemonade stand, this is a great way to incorporate author's purpose and economics together. Such a great way to explore persuasive writing! If you're interested in having your class analyze advertisements (which, trust me, they will find SO fun- grab the freebie here!)

Then, the next day, we recapped what made the advertisements persuasive and discussed information was vital on our posters and signs.

 I also made sure to discuss how we should space our letters, and how to make our posters easy to read. It was tricky for some of them to realize that a poster doesn't have to have complete sentences, and that too much text giving detail can actually make it hard to read (see below).

 I made a sample... 

I wanted them to start with pencil, because spacing the letters of a word like "lemonade" and not running out of space is quite a tricky concept for 2nd graders.

Then, they got to trace them over with marker- caaaarefully.

A few things to notice...

lemon letters,
  bubbles/ clouds,
lots of color,
So many details that made me proud!!
My favorite one:
Hahaha- fantastic, isn't it?

Please let me know if you try out the freebie in your classroom! My kids LOVED analyzing the ads!


  1. What a fun activity for writing! I am always looking for new ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    Wizard of Boz

  2. I love how you showed the students commercials and had them analyze them before creating their posters. What a great idea!

    Delighted in Second


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