Monday, March 28, 2011

Lesson Plan: Modern Day Slavery

I don't often share things I'm doing in my classes, but I'm particularly excited about this project.  I've developed it over the course of a few years and I feel like I've finally gotten it in the place it's going to work.

You are welcome to copy this assignment and use it in your classes.

Before starting this project, my class reads an excerpt of Fredrick Douglass' slave narrative.  We discuss how things must have been perceived in that time period and then discuss whether or not slavery has existed since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.  Most of the student indicate that slavery still exists, but only in other 3rd world countries.  In other words, we in the United States don't have to concern ourselves with things like this.

Then I give them this prompt (entire prompt is in bold):

Modern Day Slavery—Advertisements in Action, 150 pts                                      

According to United Nations’ estimates, there are more than 27 million slaves living in the world today.  Many Americans would likely find that statistic shocking because we tend to think of slavery as something that existed in our distant past rather than as something that is part of our present or our future.  Slavery exists despite the fact that it is prohibited by the United Nations and has been legally banned in almost every country in which it is practiced.  It takes a variety of different forms and affects people of all ages, races and sexes.

As Frederick Douglass once said:

“All the slaveholder asks of me is silence.  He does not ask me to go abroad and preach in favor of slavery; he does not ask any one to do that.  He would not say that slavery is a good thing, but the best under the circumstances.  The slaveholders want total darkness on the subject.  I expose slavery because to expose it is to kill it.  Slavery is one of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is death.  Expose slavery [to this light] and it dies.”

We will spend the next few days researching the problem of modern slavery and creating a print advertisement that will educate your peers on the subject.  Each group will be required to:

  • Create a print ad about modern day slavery.  Each ad should:
    • Include a visual element (picture, drawing, etc.)
    • Include copy (writing that informs the reader)
    • Include the nonprofit information (contact info, etc.)

  • Write a rationale for the print ad.  The aspects of your rationale should be presented on PowerPoint and copies of each slide should be turned in to me before your group presentation.  Each rationale should:
    • Include a summary of modern day slavery.  Consider the following questions:
      • How do people become slaves?  What are they promised?
      • What types of slavery are practiced in which areas of the world?
      • How many people are involved in slavery all over the world?
      • What is the overall treatment of modern day slaves?
    • Include a specific target audience.
      • Age
      • Sex
      • Occupation, etc.
      • What do they know?
      • What do they need to know?
    • Include a consumer promise.
      • Why do they need this information?
      • What should they do with this information?
    • Include where you would place your advertisement and why.
      • What media does your target use?
        • Magazines
        • Television
        • Radio
        • Etc.

Websites to try:

·         Print Ad—50 pts
o   Picture is neat, visually appealing and adequately relates to the subject matter—15 pts
o   Copy is grammatically correct, free from spelling errors and adequately informs the reader about the subject matter—25 pts
o   Nonprofit information is included somewhere on the ad and shares the name of the organization and contact information for that organization—10 pts

·         Rationale—65 pts
o   Grammatically correct and free from spelling errors—5 pts
o   Summary of modern day slavery explains how people become slaves, the types of slavery practiced, the number of people involved in the modern slave trade and the overall treatment of modern day slaves—25 pts
o   Target audience is identified by age, sex, and occupation.  Target also adequately reflects what this audience knows and what they need to know—15 pts
o   The consumer promise explains why the target audience needs this information and explains what the audience should do with this information—10 pts
o   Rationale includes an explanation of placement (which magazines and why)—5 pts
o   PowerPoint is visually appealing and shows obvious thought in progression of slides.  It should be easy for the audience to understand without becoming overwhelming and should also clearly explain how the advertisement suits the target audience and consumer promise—15 pts.
·         Presentation—25 pts
o   Each group member participated in the presentation by speaking—10 pts
o   Group members did not simply read information off of the slides.  Instead, bulleted information was supplemented through presentation and through cited resources—10 pts
o   Group members were dressed in a professional manner—5 pts

Keep in mind I have to discuss the purpose of advertising and how it's meant to work.  We look at sample ads and discuss who might have been the target audience and then try to discuss a target audience they can use for this project.

I feel like this project reaches so many different standards--it requires a group effort, research, presentation skills, thinking of how to appeal to others, etc.  Generally, I make this activity a campaign competition.  The team with the winning campaign receives a prize for every member (movie passes, etc.).

Feel free to modify to suit your purposes--oh, and feel free to comment so I can tweak the assignment or ask questions in the comments.  There's nothing I love more than comments :)

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