Course 1 Final Project – Advertising and Persuasive Language

I am really, really excited about posting this Course 1 Final Project.  My excitement not only comes from the fact that I took a lot from this first course, but also because my students did so well with the formatives throughout the unit.  This created a solid foundation that allowed my students authentic opportunities to practice the key skill of analysis and Language and Literature so hinges upon.  I completed the UbD unit plan weeks ago, and it worked out perfectly that my unit ended one hour ago so that I will be able to show off some student work from my unit!

Credit: Flickr - Wrote - Creative Commons:

Credit: Flickr – Wrote – Creative Commons:

When I began thinking about this Course 1 project, I decided to alter a unit that I taught last year in my DP 2 HL English Language and Literature course on Part 2: Language and Mass Communication.  Within this semester long unit, we study three mini-units, and for this project I chose to adapt advertising and persuasive language.  This is a relatively short unit, but due to the time of the year this unit takes place, it straddles many holidays and therefore is a four week unit.  The focus of the unit is on advertising and persuasive language, specifically how language is used to convey messages within advertisements.

When I was considering what features of my unit I should adapt for this year, I decided that it would be best to add formative assessments that not only utilize higher order thinking skills and integrate technology, but also that give my students practice for upcoming IB assessments (the Written Task and the FOA).  I run a paperless classroom, so every day the students are utilizing technology.  As a result, I wanted to focus my final project on having the students use technology to create something not possible without technology.

Throughout Course 1, three main ideas really stuck with me that I wanted to explore:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Incorporation of digital tools to promote creativity
  3. Connectivism

With these topics in mind, I set out to explore these ideas through the creation of the second formative assessment, the FOA advertising campaign.  For this assessment, students worked in groups of four to create an advertising campaign advertising either a fictional or made up product.  In class, we explored various mediums of advertisements, and the students were encouraged to create a campaign utilizing different types of advertisements.  Upon completion of this formative task, students created commercials, radio advertisements, as well as print advertisements.  Students were forced to collaborate outside of class, and use technology to foster understanding of how advertisements worked.  To implement the ideas of connectivism, I looked to have the students take knowledge from various places (in class content, real-world experience, and research) and make connections to see how that network of information can work together to create a new product.

Before discussing the students’ work to meet these goals, here is my unit plan:


Student Work:

As the students were working through this unit, I came to the realization that students love the opportunity to create using their devices.  Not only were the formative submissions engaging and insightful, they also connected strongly to the learning outcomes and forced the students to think about the creation of texts in a different way.

Formative Written Task:

For the first formative assessment, students were able to choose from four types of text (blog, vlog, brochure, or diary entry) to demonstrate understanding of the four big ideas of media.

Here is an example of a student’s blog entry, courtesy of Monica.

As you can see, not only is she engaging course content in a creative way, she demonstrates a strong understanding of conventions of a blog, a valuable learning experience for Paper 1.

Below is a Vlog from a student, courtesy of Sarah:

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She utilizes technology to create a product that would be otherwise impossible without.  She engages the content of the course, sends a strong message, and utilizes technology to make connections.

Formative FOA:

During the advertising campaign presentations, I received three main text types.  Here is an example of print advertisements from two different groups:

Courtesy of Bandar, Faisal, Nasser, and Omar

Courtesy of Bandar, Faisal, Nasser, and Omar

Courtesy of Shaida, Wedad, Serena, and Jasper

Courtesy of Shaida, Wedad, Serena, and Jasper

Both groups utilized the power of Photoshop to create text advertisements to demonstrate learning.

Here is an example of a radio advertisement completed courtesy of Fajer, Edith, Aisha, and Lulu:


Lastly, there were two commercials created by Bandar, Omar, Nasser, and Faisal:

YouTube Preview Image


YouTube Preview Image

Final Impressions:

Overall, the unit was a stunning success.  Students were able to effectively utilize technology to create products that not only aligned with the learning goals, but allowed them to consider a perspective they would not have otherwise considered.  As I move forward, I am going to take what I learned throughout this unit, and attempt to integrate more authentic learning experiences that would not be possible without the integration of technology.  By helping the students create and utilize a network of ideas, they will be prepared to face the world as 21st century citizens.