In a recent post, I shared the formula that I use to develop effective lesson intros. Here, I share an intro that I drafted during my grad school years, when I was asked to adjunct a three-credit-hour course for prospective teachers of English, Social Studies, and Art. Given the variety of content areas, I decided to create a model intro that integrated content from several “disciplines” (e.g., visual literacy, advertising, persuasive writing).
Begin with Bell Work: The teacher waits by the door, greeting students and reminding them to follow the entry procedure. As students enter, they pick up a guided note-taking sheet, an activity sheet, and the topmost grouping card, and then take a seat at the table with the corresponding grouping sign. Once seated, students read the bell work activity (Image 1), which serves as a quick review of persuasion, and write their responses in column 1 of today’s lesson-in-review page. When the two-minute timer dings, the teacher calls on a student to answer each question.
Image 1: Bell Work Slide
Grab Students’ Attention: (1 m) The teacher displays a collage with pictures of a variety of communication methods: TV, computer, billboard, etc. The teacher says, “By a show of hands, who had time to watch TV, (Hulu, Netflix), explore online, or take a road trip over the weekend? When we engage in these activities, we’re bombarded with advertisements (ads)–commercials, print ads, pop-ups, and even billboards, all of which can be quite persuasive. Without talking, think of a favorite ad or any ad that you find memorable.”
Activate Prior Knowledge: (3 m) The teacher displays another slide (Image 2); she reads the instructions and questions aloud and sets a timer for two minutes. Students answer the questions in column 2 of today’s lesson-in-review page. When the two-minute timer dings, the teacher calls on 3-4 students to share their responses with the class.
Image 2: Activating Prior Knowledge Slide
Connect Prior Knowledge to Lesson: (1 m) The teacher reiterates the parts of students’ responses that are most relevant to persuasive techniques and connects them to the topic of the lesson: “Everyone who shared their “fan favorites” response described a commercial that was either funny or featured a celebrity. These two elements, humor and celebrities, represent two of the persuasive techniques that are commonly used in ads. Thus, in addition to our knowledge of persuasive writing, we are also familiar with at least two persuasive techniques used by advertisers.
State Lesson Purpose: (30 sec) The teacher displays a slide with the purpose of today’s lesson, “Today, we will build upon our existing knowledge of persuasion and persuasive techniques by learning about a total of seven persuasive techniques used in ads and by analyzing ads that contain those techniques.”
State Lesson Objectives: (1 min) The teacher reads the objectives displayed on the SMART board: “By the end of this class, we will be able to: (1) define 7 persuasive techniques, (2) identify 2+ persuasive techniques in a given ad, and (3) cite 2+ pieces of textual evidence for each persuasive technique.” In column 3 of their lesson-in-review page, students write the following parts of the objectives, which have been underlined on the slide: define persuasive techniques, identify 2 in each ad, and cite textual evidence.
Share Lesson Agenda: (30 sec) The teacher displays and explains a SMART art graphic of the agenda, which includes the 3 major parts of the body of the lesson:
- Knowledge Building: definitions and examples of persuasive techniques
- Skills Practice (supported): analyze ads to find techniques and textual evidence
- Skills Practice (independent): analyze additional ads, but with less “support”
The teacher also explains that at the end of the lesson (i.e. closure), students will use what they learned to analyze their favorite/memorable ads.
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