To prepare students for their first conference. To facilitate an activity where students assume the role of marketers.
The marketing activity encourages students to think about marketers’ purposes, motivations, strategies and arguments. In thinking like a marketer, students gain the perspective and critical insight they need to interpret and analyze advertisements.
Conferencing makes for a valuable opportunity to address students’ individual writing concerns. Rather than meeting for class next Thursday (September 29 th) students will meet with you individually to discuss their work on Portfolio I – Part C. Each student should schedule a 10 – 15 minute conference (you may determine the length of each individual conference). Since conferencing can take 4 -5 hours, you may want to spread the meetings out over a few days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). While we understand that conferences are time consuming, we ask that you only cancel ONE class to conduct them (keep in mind that the time requirement for conferencing matches that of a class session when you consider that you do not have to prepare anything for class or grade extra work during these days).
Bring a sign up sheet to class with designated times outlined. Since students’ schedules vary, you should provide at least 24 different meeting times for a class of 19 students. Also, since conferences can run a bit over, be sure to schedule in some catch up time for yourself (especially if you’re meeting with several students in a row).
Before passing out the conference sign up sheet, explain :
Once you’ve reviewed key points for conferencing, pass around the conference sheet and ask students to sign up. Remind them to write down the time they signed up for so they don’t forget to come.
Transition: Explain why we are doing the market activity, so they can think critically about the goals, strategies, and appeals that probably lie behind the advertisement that they are writing about.
You (instructors) will likely need some materials for this activity, such as:
This activity should be conducted as a group, role-playing exercise where students pretend they are a team of marketers advertising their product to a specific audience. They may design a print advertisement for their activity (on an overhead sheet or on paper that you provide) or they may deliver their ad in the form of a short 2 -3 minute skit.
Before beginning this activity, think carefully about how to set it up. For example, you may ask students to develop their own product and market it to whatever audience they choose. Or, you might assign specific products and audiences to each group.
Sample Products and Audiences:
Thoroughly explain the purpose of this activity. Also, let students know how much time they will have to design their ad. Be clear about the activity instructions before you assign groups and begin working.
Here, each group should come to the front of the class and present their product. Ask them to explain:
Use this discussion to reflect on the previous activity. You might facilitate a whole class discussion here and write answers on the board as you go. Or, you might ask students to respond to the following questions in a WTL (Write to Learn) and then discuss their answers as a class. Either way, your goal here is to encourage students to determine what marketers’ purposes, strategies, assumptions and messages are.
If time: Ask students to look at the ads they brought in to class today. Then, discuss: What strategies are these marketers using? Who are they targeting? What assumptions are they making about their viewers?
Write a conclusion that links today’s activities to the next class or to the Portfolio I – Part C assignment. For example, “Now that we’ve considered how marketers rely on assumptions and implications to sell their products, we’ll begin to examine this more closely with the ads you find for homework and bring in to discuss.”
Note to GTAs: You will need to make the sample essay(s) available to students through The Writing Studio before assigning today’s homework. You can access the sample essay(s) in the appendix section of the online syllabus.