The day after the Super Bowl, many of my students are tired from staying up to watch the big game, so I try to make my lessons for that day to be as interesting as possible in order to keep them engaged. One Super Bowl lesson plan that has always been a winner is a lesson on “Persuasive Writing Techniques in Advertising.” I created this Super Bowl lesson plan for grade 5 students, but you can adapt it for other grade levels!
SUPER BOWL LESSON PLAN
TEACHING ADVERTISING AND PERSUASIVE WRITING TECHNIQUES
With all of the hype that surrounds the Super Bowl commercials, you can't help but be intrigued about seeing what the advertising executives will invent to entice consumers. I turn that enthusiasm into something educational with an advertising-inspired, persuasive writing lesson.
When teaching advertising to primary students, I focus students' attention on the writing strategies utilized to entice consumers.
Students will analyze and discuss the persuasive writing strategies and techniques that were used in various Super Bowl advertisements.
Begin the persuasive writing lesson by asking students to think about some of their favorite Super Bowl commercials. Also ask them to think about why they liked them. What in the commercials specifically resonated with them?
Then have a brief discussion with the class. For students who didn’t watch the Super Bowl, ask them to think about their favorite commercials on TV. You might also want to show some of the Super Bowl commercials that are available as YouTube videos.
Important Note: When I first started teaching this lesson, I had to record the Super Bowl on my VCR and show the commercials in class using videotape. Now, with Smartboards and YouTube, this persuasive writing lesson is a lot easier. However, one thing that has never changed is my diligence in selecting commercials. Not all commercials are appropriate for your students, so be careful when making your selections.
Model the persuasive writing strategies and techniques that are used in commercials. Some of these strategies are:
BANDWAGON: Suggests that everyone else is buying it, so you should, too
TESTIMONIAL: Have an expert or famous person persuading the audience
REPITITON: Repeats an idea over and over again
BARGAIN OR FREE: Suggests the consumer can get something for nothing or almost nothing
REASONING: Explains why the product is a good idea/beneficial to them
CRITICIZING THE OPPOSITION: Explains why one product is better than another
SLOGAN: Creates a catchy phrase to help the consumer remember the product
PERSONAL PRONOUNS: Talks directly to the audience/consumer (we, us, you)
This list is available for you to download and hang in your classroom. Download it now!
Give students a Persuasive Writing Strategies & Techniques in Advertising Note-Taking Sheet (available for you to download). Together, watch a commercial played during the Super Bowl and record the students ideas and comments on the sheet. Do this together for two commercials and then let them try two commercials on their own.
Ask students to reflect on the commercials they just watched on their Persuasive Writing Strategies & Techniques in Advertising Reflection Sheet (available for you to download).
With this worksheet, students will reflect on their favorite and least favorite commercials and on the persuasive techniques used by advertisers. Then students will write down persuasive techniques that could be used to improve the commercials.
Finally, give students an opportunity to share and discuss their reflections in small groups.
Students can create their own advertisements using persuasive writing strategies.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.