If you are brand new here, I recommend that you go back and start at the beginning. My goal with the WordSmithery is to make creative writing exciting for writers of all ages. Here's what we've covered so far:
- #1: About and Journals
- #2: Introduction and Good Words
- #3: Powerful Words
- #4: Simile Rainbow Project
- #4: Similes
- #5: Metaphors and Strong Verbs
- #6: Alliteration and Spring Flower (or Fall Leaves) Poem
- #7: Writing About the Weather (Form Poem)
- #8: Form Poetry
- #9: Poetry Collage
- #10: Writing About Self
Before you begin this lesson, you will need to find examples of advertising in magazines, coupon flyers, etc. You can do a google image search for "magazine advertisements" and find all kinds of examples if you don't have any magazines at home.
You might also wish to preview TV ads on youtube and pick out a few appropriate ones for your kids to watch. This page lists the most popular TV commercials, but please preview before you show your kids!
Up to this point we have been concentrating on various tools that writers: metaphor, simile, strong verbs, exciting adjectives. Language and words are the building blocks for all writing. Any good writer of fiction or nonfiction knows how to use words—to make words do the work for them.
We are going to move now into writing nonfiction. We talked in the last lesson about different types of nonfiction like biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, newspaper articles, etc. Today we are going to talk about a special kind of creative writing that should be nonfiction but often borders on fiction!
Where can advertising can be found? (Allow for discussion: TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, internet, etc.) What about more subtle forms of advertising? (discuss things like t-shirts, backpacks, shopping bags, buses, cars, billboards)
• Do you enjoy TV commercials? What are you favorite TV commercials? Why? (allow for discussion) What about your least favorite TV commercial? Why? (allow for discussion)
• Do you like reading ads in magazines and newspapers? (discuss)
What about the ads that pop up on the computer when you are playing games (or Facebook for older students)? Are you ever tempted to click on them?
What is the purpose of advertising? (to sell something). Is everyone going to be attracted to the same kind of ad? (No. Briefly discuss how ads are targeted differently according to age groups, gender, etc.)
• What does poetry—words— have to do with advertising? (You have to get people to FEEL in order to want to buy.)
Advertisements that trigger an emotional response can grab an audience by the heart, hold their attention, and leave them with a warm and cozy feeling about the company, product or service. Warm feelings can translate into money.
This handout describes the different kinds of techniques used in the advertising world. (The link should take you to the handout in google docs. But here is another hand-out in case that one doesn't work for you.) Let’s go over these and see if you can find examples or think of examples. (Provide copies of magazine, newspaper, etc ads. Talk about what you see in them and how the techniques are used in them.) • Look particularly for words that might trigger an emotional response in the reader. (Together, make a list of those words in a journal or on your white board.)
The next lesson will include more about advertising. Until then, encourage your students to pay attention to the persuasive words and techniques used in advertising, especially to print ads.
Day 1: Describe a food that you had today as if you were advertising it in a magazine geared toward parents.
(Example: Cheerios. What parent doesn’t want simply the best? )
Day 2: Describe the same food in Day 1 or choose a different one and describe it as if you were advertising it in a magazine geared toward kids.
(Example: Cheerios. Eat a bowl for breakfast and your mom will let you eat a treat later! And they taste great, too!)
Day 3: Describe a current TV or radio commercial that you really like or dislike. Be specific!
Day 4: Describe your dream vacation in a few short sentences.
(Example: My dream vacation would be a summertime tour through the UK and Germany. I’d like to visit castles, cathedrals, and every famous building. I would want a lot of money and my whole family with me.)
I'd love to see what you're writing! Leave us a sample in the comments, or share your writing here. (Be sure to include which lesson you are sharing!)
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