Focus Question: How can we use the writing process to create a brochure?
Tell students, “Today we are going to write a brochure. We are going to brainstorm an event and its 5 Ws, and I am going to model working through the writing process for you so you can see how to turn an idea into an effective brochure. Then you are going to work through the writing process to create your own brochure.”
Have the class brainstorm information about a school event as you record the results on the board. Remind students to answer the 5 Ws when thinking of information that is necessary or helpful for the intended purpose and audience. Discuss any additional information that someone would need or want before attending the event.
Model how to take the information they brainstormed to create the rough draft of a brochure about the school event. Make sure you verbalize your thought process as you are deciding what information needs to be included and how you are going to present that information (text features). You may have a plan in mind ahead of time about what information students give you and how you turn that information into a brochure. The modeling process is very important, and it is better to be prepared. Involve students in deciding what kinds of pictures, photographs, and/or graphics should be included in the brochure.
Continue to model the writing process. Again, plan the revisions and editing you are going to do during the lesson. Make sure you clearly verbalize your thought process through each stage.
Model how to self-evaluate your brochure using the Student Self-Evaluation Checklist (LW-3-1-3_Student Self-Evaluation Checklist.doc). If you have not already done so, put the following anchor chart on chart paper to display in the classroom for students to use.
What Makes a Brochure Effective?
An effective brochure
- addresses a specific audience.
- has a clear purpose.
- answers the 5 Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why.
- provides additional information if necessary.
- uses descriptive and precise writing.
- uses a variety of text features.
- has been edited for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.
Give each student a piece of paper. Ask students to think about a local event or place to visit. (Help students brainstorm by creating a list of places as a class from which they can choose. To avoid wasting time on indecision, assign a place to each student.) Have students determine the audience and the purpose for their brochure. Then have students write all of the information they can think of about the place.
Language Skills Mini-Lesson
After students have finished writing, say, “Many of you are probably writing a brochure about an event or place that is fun. In fact, you will probably use the word ‘fun’ in your brochure. What part of speech is the word ‘fun?’” (a noun) “What is the definition of a noun?” (a person, place, thing, or idea) “Into which of these categories does ‘fun’ fit?” (idea) “Yes, fun is an idea; you cannot see, smell, taste, hear, or touch fun. If you walked into Six Flags theme park, no one would give you ‘a fun,’ right? But you can think about it; you can think of a time when you were having fun. This type of noun is called an abstract noun, because it is an idea.”
“What other abstract nouns can we think of together?” Write these nouns on the board to help students continue to think of others: democracy, happiness, trust, childhood, friendship, imagination, freedom, thought, bravery, faith, education, dreams, love, pride. “Can you see any patterns in what abstract nouns often are? Could you put these words into groups?” (ideals, states of being, feelings)
“Now that we know what abstract nouns are, let’s use them in sentences. I’ll give an example. Listen for the abstract noun in my sentence. ‘You are very lucky to receive a great education.’ What was the abstract noun?” (education) “Some abstract nouns are words that we also use as verbs such as love, thought, and taste. Make sure you are using the words as nouns, not verbs.” Write two examples on the board that use the same word as a noun and a verb. (e.g., We love each other. We hugged to show our love.) “In which sentence is love a verb?” (We love each other.) “In which sentence is it a noun?” (We hugged to show our love.)
“Turn to your partner and take turns using an abstract noun from the board in a sentence. Your partner should double-check to make sure you are not using it as a verb. If you have a question, let me know.”
“We are going to move on with the 5 Ws for your brochures, but I challenge you to use an abstract noun besides ‘fun’ somewhere in your brochure.”
Give students a copy of the 5 Ws worksheet (LW-3-1-2_The 5 Ws.doc) to plan the information they need to include in their brochures. Remind students to include important additional information such as cost, hours, fees, etc. Students may need to use the Internet or talk to their parents to find all of the information that they need.
Give students a copy of the Brochure Template (LW-3-1-3_Brochure Template.doc) to use as a rough draft. (Note: The template provided is a sample that students can use. Depending on the needs in your classroom, adjust the template to make it appropriate for your students. You may give two or three different templates students can choose from to make their brochures.)
Have students work on creating their brochures. Give students a copy of the Text Features handout (LW-3-1-2_Text Features.docx) to help them as they plan the layout and use a variety of text features to present their information. Explain that they should use descriptive words to give information to the person reading the brochure.
Remind students to use correct capitalization in their titles and use comparative or superlative adjectives, referring to the chart the class made if they need to.
When students have completed the rough draft of their brochure, have them meet with a partner to revise their work. Students need to look at each other’s work and determine if all of the important information has been included.
Tell students, “Talk to your partner about any questions you still have that need to be answered in the brochure. Use the What Makes an Effective Brochure anchor chart to help you evaluate each other’s work.” Give students a chance to revise and edit their rough drafts. You may conference briefly with each student at this point to make sure s/he is on the right track.
After students are satisfied with their work and feel they have written an effective brochure that is going to inform readers of the important information on the topic, they can start completing a final copy of the brochure. They will need an additional copy of the Brochure Template (LW-3-1-3_Brochure Template.doc) to complete the final copy.
Once students have completed the final copy, conference with them and have them complete the Student Self-Evaluation Checklist (LW-3-1-3_Student Self-Evaluation Checklist.doc). Note: This checklist may need to be revised based on the criteria that you and your students come up with about what makes an effective brochure.
- If students are having difficulty creating a brochure, help them generate the 5 Ws and provide additional information if needed. Then have them put the information together in the format of a brochure.
- Have students imagine their own amusement park, summer camp, fair, or other familiar attraction. Ask students to sketch a picture and write all of the important information that visitors would need to know about their creation. Students can create a brochure to advertise their new creation.