THE NEWS AD VANTAGE
The following activities are from the NIE guide titled, "The News Ad Vantage" written by Giny Beck, a 20-year veteran of the elementary/middle school classroom from Iowa and edited and published by Ann West, News Relief, Inc.
The activities were designed for use with students in grades 4-8, however, they may be modified for use with other ages.
1. PARTS OF SPEECH Select four advertisements, two display ads and two classified ads from the newspaper. (A display ad is a graphic ad usually for a business. You can find display ads throughout the newspaper, they can be as large as two full pages or small with just a name and phone number. Classified ads have their own section and are placed by individuals selling something or businesses looking for employees.) On a sheet of paper, list all of the nouns you find in the ads. Next list adjectives from the ads next to the nouns they describe. Make a third list of any verbs that are used.
2. THE FIVE W’s Find the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN in three different display ads in the newspaper. Why is this information important in an ad as well as a news article? Do the ads you found also contain answers regarding WHY a product or service should be purchased?
3. TANDEM AD Some products naturally go together. If a consumer buys one, he or she will likely buy the second item. Look through the ads and pair up products that could be advertised together and perhaps increase the likelihood that both items will be bought by the reader.
4. "AD" TO YOUR VOCABULARY Find words that you are unfamiliar with in the newspaper ads. Make a list of these words. Then find their meanings. Look back at the ads and decide if these words were important to the ad. Are there any of the technical, or used to describe a certain type of product? Would another word have been better?
5. FREQUENT ADVERTISERS Look through five consecutive editions of the newspaper to identify and record the names of advertisers on a sheet of paper. Put tally marks beside the names of businesses who are repeat advertisers. Who seems to advertise the most in your local newspaper? You may want to consider the frequency and the size of the ads.
6. SELL YOURSELF Create an advertisement to "sell yourself." Make a list of your positive qualities. Perhaps you would like to sell yourself as a good friend or a wonderful babysitter or a great son or daughter. Design your ad to convince the readers that you are a very good "deal."