Focus Questions: What is a brochure and what is its purpose?
When preparing for this part of the lesson, you need two pieces of chart paper, one entitled Television Commercial and the other Brochure. Down the left-hand side of each piece of chart paper, write the words: Purpose, Audience, and Information.
Tell students, “Today we will talk about writing for special purposes. Having a purpose for your writing allows you to direct your writing. If you are writing a story to entertain, then you choose words that meet that goal. If you are writing a brochure to give information about something or someplace, then the writing in the brochure reflects this. Knowing your readers, or audience, helps you to shape your writing so it is fit for your audience. For example, a letter you write to your teacher would be very different from a letter you write to your friend. Likewise, writing a story that will entertain younger children will use different words than a story that will entertain your parents.” You may want to discuss how these things would be different so your meaning is clear.
“Over the next few lessons, we are going to focus on informational writing. We are going to compare television commercials and brochures to see how they are similar and different, and why you would write a brochure. At the end of this unit, you are going to make your own informational brochure.”
Show students the Six Flags commercial found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU2yt6wOoK0.
Use these questions to engage your students in a discussion:
- “What is the purpose of this video?” (to show people what fun they could have visiting Six Flags amusement park) Fill in the purpose section of the television commercial chart paper.
- “How did the person who wrote this commercial try to meet this purpose?” (by showing people of all ages having a good time at the amusement park; also by showing adults that visiting Six Flags will make you feel like a kid)
- “For what audience (group of people) do you think this commercial is meant?” (people of all ages because there are people of all ages in the commercial) Fill in the audience section of the television commercial chart paper.
- “What information about Six Flags did you get from this commercial?” (There is time for work and time for play, and Six Flags is the time and place for play. It has roller coasters, water rides, shows, and cartoon characters. People of all ages will enjoy themselves at Six Flags.) Fill in the information section of the television commercial chart paper.
Then show students the brochure found at www.themeparkbrochures.net/2008/sfft2008.html.
Read through the brochure with students and continue the discussion:
- “What is the purpose of this brochure?” (to show people what fun they could have visiting Six Flags amusement park) Fill in the purpose section of the brochure chart paper.
- “How did the person who wrote this brochure try to meet this purpose?” (Sample answer: by showing people of all ages having a good time at the water park, on the rides, and at the shows; also by using bold, catchy titles and descriptions)
- “For what audience (group of people) do you think this brochure is meant?” (kids and their parents, because there are mostly kids and their parents in the brochure) Fill in the audience section of the brochure chart paper.
- “What are the text features of this brochure that help the reader see the important information quickly and easily?” (You may need to explain these terms for students: headings, bolding, photos, calendar color key, map)
- “What information is given in the brochure that is not given in the commercial?” (hours of operation, a map, coupons, more detailed descriptions of the rides and shows) Fill in the information section of the brochure chart paper.
On chart paper, model how to complete a Venn diagram for the television advertisement and the brochure for Six Flags amusement park. Ask for students’ help in completing this graphic organizer. Explain how using this type of graphic organizer can be helpful when organizing thoughts.
Next, have students work with a partner to fill in their own Venn diagram that generally compares and contrasts television commercials with brochures (LW-3-1-1_Venn Diagram.doc). Ask students, “How are television commercials the same as brochures, and how are they different?” Their lists of similarities and differences should address the wide range of purposes and audiences that television commercials and brochures target.
Once students have had time to discuss their ideas with their partner and fill in the Venn diagram, bring the class back together. Ask students to share their ideas while you complete a Venn diagram on chart paper or on the overhead. Answers may include
- Television commercials use music, video, and spoken and written words to give a message, and they give only basic information.
- Brochures give more detailed information and use only pictures and words to give a message.
- Both television commercials and brochures try to inform the reader/listener, are directed toward a specific audience, make the topic clear, and are lively and inviting.
Ask students, “Which form—television or print—did you find most appealing? Which was most informative? Why?” (There is no right or wrong answer to these questions.)
Language Skills Mini-Lesson
Before moving to Part 2, take 5 to 10 minutes to identify comparative and superlative adjectives in the brochure. “Before we move on, let’s quickly look at a couple of examples in this brochure of comparative and superlative adjectives.” Write “Positive,” “Comparative,” and “Superlative” as headers in a row on the board. Underneath, in a new row, write “good,” “better,” “best” so they align with the headers. Add a bottom row that says “many,” “more,” “most.”
“If I like a ride at Six Flags, I might say it was ‘good.’” Point to “good” on the board. “If I go on another ride, I might say it was ‘better’ than the first ride.” Point. “If I go on a third ride, I might say it was the ‘best’ ride out of the three.” Point. “These words are all adjectives that describe the rides. The first ride was ‘good.’ But when I talk about the two rides, and I want to tell which one of the two I prefer, I am comparing them, so I say the second ride was ‘better.’” Point to “Comparative” and “better” below it. “When I want to tell which one of the three rides I prefer, I use the superlative form to say that the third ride was the ‘best.’ The superlative form of the adjective is used when you compare three or more things.” Point to “Superlative” and “best” below it.
Hold some school supplies in your hand, such as pencils, crayons, or erasers. Give one student in the room more crayons than you have and give another student the most of the three of you. “Let’s look at the second row of examples together. I have many crayons in my hand.” Point to “many” on the board. “[Name of student], compare your amount to mine.” (Student says, “I have more crayons than you have.”) “You used the comparative adjective form, since you are comparing two things: your number of crayons to my number. [Name of student], use the superlative adjective form to tell how many crayons you have.” (Student says, “I have the most crayons.”)
“Help me add to this chart. Name an adjective.” (e.g., large) “What is the comparative form?” (larger) “What is the superlative form?” (largest) Continue with three other adjectives that students suggest.
Form groups of three and have students make positive, comparative, and superlative statements. Students will enjoy besting each other, so ensure that they take turns using
“–er” and “–est.”
“Let’s look back at our brochure to find comparative and superlative adjectives.” Help students find the four instances of “more” and two instances of “best” in the brochure, emphasizing the comparisons of two versus three or more.
“When you write your own brochure, you will probably be using comparative and superlative adjectives. You can refer back to this chart to help you remember how to use them correctly.”
This is a partner activity. Write the following two questions on the board and ask students to discuss them with their partner:
- Why is it important to have a purpose for your writing? (Having a purpose for your writing allows you to direct your writing. If you are writing a story to entertain, then you choose words that meet that goal. If you are writing a brochure to give information about something or someplace, then the writing in the brochure reflects this.)
- Why is it important to know the audience you are writing for before you start writing? (Knowing your readers, or audience, helps you to shape your writing so it is fit for your audience. For example, a note that you write to your teacher would be very different from a note that you write to your friend. Likewise, writing a story that will entertain younger children will use different words than a story that will entertain your parents.) You may want to discuss how these things would be different so your meaning is clear.
Once students have had a chance to discuss with their partner, ask students to share their responses. Write student responses on chart paper to post; this chart can be used as a reference for future lessons.
Break students into five groups and give them a random selection of brochures. Have students sort and classify them, and determine the purpose of each brochure and to what type of reader it is trying to appeal. The brochures should fall into these categories:
- Advertising brochures: purpose is to inform someone, so s/he buys the product or visits the attraction. For example:
- brochures for different kinds of tools: audience—craftspeople
- brochures for amusement parks: audience—children and families
- brochures for toys: audience—children and parents
- brochures for a high-priced hotel in the downtown of a big city: audience—adults/business people
- Informational brochures: purpose is to inform the reader of facts about a specific topic. For example:
- brochures about riding a bike safely: audience—people who ride bikes
- brochures about dental care and oral hygiene: audience—general population
- brochures about flu shots: audience—general population
- brochures about the food pyramid and healthy food choices: audience—general population
“Look for words that help you decide what the purpose of the brochure is. The purpose could be advertising or informational. Look for words that help you decide who the audience for this brochure is.”
Discuss how the words and pictures in the brochures are different based on the purpose and the audience for whom each brochure is written.
Use a brochure about pet food, products or gifts (http://www.in-visionproductions.com/114678/746945/home/pawsabilities) to model your thought process for determining the purpose and audience for the brochure. The purpose is to inform the reader about the products so that they can make a decision about purchasing them. The audience is pet owners.
Hand one copy of Determining Purpose and Audience (LW-3-1-1_Determining Purpose and Audience.docm) to each student. Read through the product list with students first to make sure they can read and understand all of the words. Ask students to fill in what they think would be the purpose and the audience for each product.
Then ask students to discuss their answers with a partner. Express to students that if they have differing answers, it does not mean one of them is wrong. There can be more than one possible audience for each product. Students just need to be able to explain their choices.
As a large group, have students share their responses to each item on the list. Allow for questions and have students share their reasoning.
- If students are having difficulty determining purpose and audience have them examine a collection of magazines in a small group. (Some examples include National Geographic, Owl, My Backyard, The Quilter, Popular Woodworking, and Popular Photography. These examples are appropriate for children and have a very distinct topic, which makes it easier to determine the purpose and audience.) Discuss with students the purpose and the audience for each magazine. If students are having difficulty, model the thought process you go through to determine the purpose and audience of one of the magazines.
- Have students begin to determine the purpose of other forms of writing. Have them work on the Text Forms and Purpose handout (LW-3-1-1_Text Forms and Purpose.docm).