No matter how you feel about it, advertising is inescapable in our society. Transform an everyday sight for your child into a persuasive writing exercise. Have her start with the "product" she knows best: her family!
Give your child a stack of magazines and newspapers and inspect the advertisements in them with her. Tell her to pay special attention to the adjectives, descriptive language, and persuasive techniques used in advertisements. How do ads interest people in buying a product?
Now it's time for her to get her Sterling Cooper on! Have her pick her favorite ad she found and have her use it as inspiration for her own advertisement -- instead of a product, she'll be trying to convince people to give her family a try. She can use draft paper to write down some adjectives that describe her family, along with some facts and information to back up her claims.
She may also wish to add some typical advertising words and persuasive slogans, repurposing them to describe his family. Help her think of puns or common phrases. For example: “Delightful fun for everyone!” “The family that's fun AND good for you!” “Everyone needs a little Mendoza family in their life.”
When she has edited the writing to her satisfaction, he can rewrite the statements with marker on the poster, using colorful decorative lettering.
Don't let her forget that graphic design is just as important as copy in advertising! Her family’s name should have a prominent place on the poster. Help her pick some family photos or magazine pictures that depict family hobbies and have her glue it to the poster. She can also use markers to draw a picture of the or of a favorite family activity.
Let her proudly share her creation, full of fun, love, and persuasive writing chops!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.