Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seminar Presentation on Teaching in 3 Dimensions

I attended this presentation where the speaker used UbD in teaching advertisements. So very timely!

These are some of the learning points I gleaned:

Teaching with Multi-Media (MM) texts
• Integration of listening, reading, viewing, speaking and representing
• Stimulates creative and critical thinking
• Makes use of authentic, real world stimuli
• Opportunities for explicit teaching of knowledge about language
• Inexhaustible supply of free materials

MM texts are not new (e.g. hieroglyphics, The Wedding of the Arolfini, Illustrated books revolutionalised reading in the Victorian age)

Some interesting activities:
  1. What is the origin of the word “text”?
  2. Brainstorm – can you think of 10 kinds of multimodal texts in 60 seconds? E.g. Diagrams, advertisements, films, street signs, shop windows, music videos, comic books, webpages, maps, newspapers, t-shirts, bus advertisement (a person smoking – exhaust pipe; beer bottle on a container truck)
  3. Language of Advertising
    • Make a scrapbook large enough to hold full page advertisements in the centre and room to make notes in the margin around them
    • Ask them to collect several ads and find the one with the greatest number of features studied
    • Annotate the adverts showing up emotive appeals and unproven claims
Two interesting websites with many archived advertisements:

Some techniques used in advertisements are:


  • The appeal of glamour and luxury – needs few words
  • Snob appeal – the consumer will join the ranks of the elite by using the product
  • Appeal to celebrity or authority – depends on an endorsement by any well-known figure. Use of the product may make the consumer identify with the spokesperson – brevity, word choice
  • Ordinary people appeal – reverse snob appeal applied here. In these ads, the intent is to appeal to the average person
  • Peer appeal – feel the sense of security that comes from feeling we are the same as everyone else (Coke is the most asked-for soft drink in the world)

  • Scientific or statistical claim – some sort of scientific proof or experiments, to very specific numbers, or to an impressive-sounding mystery ingredient
  • Claims about the consumer (Mercedes specializes in the creation of individual cars, built to individual requirements…)
  • Compliment the consumer claim – Virginia Slims cigarettes (You’ve come a long way, baby!”
  • Rhetorical question claim – Are you missing out on TV fun?
  • Incomplete comparison claim
  • Weasel word claim – makes the products seem special or unique (Helps, natural, enriched) “So clean, it’s virtually spotless” – paraphrase this – what could it also mean?

One recommended reading was Vance Packard (The Hidden Persuaders, 1960).

Interesting advertisement: Kit Kat Advertisement – Mum Kangaroo pushing a pram (Geddit?)

Movie Stereotypes
  • Media (TV, film) often make use of stereotypes and more reverse stereotypes.
  • Are stereotypes bad? Where can we see such stereotypes?
  • Purpose and Audience of movie posters – how has time changed the medium? How has technology changed the look and feel? [e.g. Batman movie]
Interesting Activities:
  1. Show action movie posters from the east and the west – allusion, parody [mostly black and white and red; stern expressions, men holding a gun]
  2. Romantic movie posters [exotic setting, couple embracing or kissing, soft colours - tone] – activate the vocabulary they already know – get them to predict what kinds of posters they would see – patterns!
  3. Look at the poster (e.g. War of the Buttons), think about the purpose, the intended audience, and the overall impact of each element:
    • Audience appeal – subject, layout and text
    • Body language of the characters and mood
    • Camera, point of view
    • Text (what information or ideas are conveyed? What different styles of writing are used?)
    • Graphics (e.g. type face, logos)
    • Layout devices
  4. Talking movies
  • What are your first impressions of the film?
  • How are the characters presented?
  • What helps you identify the main characters? [heroes?]
  • How is interest/suspense created?
  • What does the music add to the effect?
  • What effects of the camera angles create? (e.g. close up, distance shots, low or high, point of view, one or two shots)
  • Whose side will you be on?
  • What were the characters wearing?

Reflection is...
  1. Realising that you have learnt something
  2. Knowing what you have done better or not

A rich text is one not based on the contents but also based on the teaching points that one can draw out from.


Using Rebirth of the Eagle to teach imagery.

Illustrating poetry requires
• An ability to understand form, meaning, tone and imagery
• An ability to find and evaluate pictures to make a good match using Google image search
• Ability to insert text using Word Art
• Performance skills

Possible Task: Poetry in 3D – use multimodal strategies to bring a poem to life (analyse imagery, illustrate scenes)

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