Students explore the need to respond to globalization by creating a persuasive visual designed to convince a particular group to act on the opportunities or overcome the challenges of globalization.
See Creating Persuasive and Effective Visuals (Modelling the Tools) for suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for analyzing and designing persuasive and informative visuals.
Review globalization issues
Review the issues related to globalization and the positive and negative impact globalization has had on the quality of life of people in Canada and other nations. Present the idea that students will be creating persuasive visuals, e.g., posters, flyers, ads, collages, to convince a particular group, e.g., corporation, government, individuals, to take action on a globalization issue that will improve the quality of life for those less fortunate.
If students have explored Shared Civic Responsibilities (Critical Challenge), they may have already identified various groups who might have some responsibilities to act.
Identify persuasive techniques used in effective visuals
Encourage students to prepare an effective visual by examining several posters or other visuals, e.g., travel brochures, magazine ads, fitness posters, advertisements, you have assembled or asked them to bring to class. Invite students to brainstorm a list of techniques that are employed by advertisers to persuade their audiences. Ask them to identify these and other persuasive techniques illustrated in the examples and to comment on the effectiveness of the persuasive techniques used; e.g., very effective, somewhat effective, not at all effective. Encourage students to consider the techniques used depending on the target audience.
Explain to the class that persuading people is only one of the purposes of advertising. Point out that ads also need to create a powerful impression in a short time and inform people about the topic or issue. Visuals are an effective way to do this as our brain remembers images better than it does text. Suggest the following criteria of effective visuals:
- catchygrabs the audience's attention, appeals to the target audience
- conciserequires as little reading as possible
- comprehensivepresents all the key information; e.g., stakeholders, interests, issue, relevant data
- convincingmakes viewers believe that the information on the visual is important and believable.
Ask students to work with a partner to study several samples of ads, looking for the techniques, strategies or elements used by the artists to create an effective visual; e.g., bold headings, snappy captions, keywords or phrases, provocative images. Discuss the reasons these techniques are effective. As a whole class, discuss a couple of the examples.
You might what to use the chart and strategies in Looking for Techniques (Support Material) to structure this activity.
Design a persuasive and informative visual to encourage beneficial actions
After students understand the qualities and techniques, ask them, individually or in pairs, to design a persuasive and informative visual. The purpose of the visual is to convince a specific audience, e.g., corporation, government, individual, to take action on an issue related to globalization, e.g., unequal access to medical care, environmental pollution, diet-related diseases, that will improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. Their visual may take the form of a poster, advertisement, brochure, collage or computer-generated presentation.
Before students begin designing their visuals, encourage them to review the contents of their issues and decide upon the most important ideas and reasons for taking action that should be included in their visuals. If necessary, direct students to conduct further research on their issues using print and online resources. Remind them to acknowledge and cite sources of information correctly.
Display the visuals
Post the finished visuals around the class or elsewhere in the school or community where the intended audience might view them. Invite students to examine the visuals and to share their reactionsboth in terms of the content and mode of presentation. Draw attention to any patterns or key revelations.
Critique the visuals
You may want to invite students to peer critique the visuals using the criteria discussed above. Consider adapting the charts and strategies in Rating Options (Support Material) to structure this activity.
Lesson adapted from Legacies of Ancient Egypt edited by Roland Case and Catriona Misfeldt (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2003).