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Chapter 13: Engaging with Nontraditional Texts

Page history last edited by dcrovitz@... 10 years, 3 months ago

Ch. 13, Additional Materials

1. Photography
What Makes a Classic?
Check out this collaborative student project about Charles Ebbets’ photo "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper."

2. Painting and Other Visual Artwork
Pair the Painting
See an example of the Pair the Painting activity with Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.”

3. Choose the Book Cover
An example of a scenario-focused assignment involving cover designs for George Orwell’s 1984.

4. Video and Film
Close Analysis of an Advertisement (or 30-Second Commercial)

  • Here's an interesting example of a group project in which students tackle a 30-second commercial for Electrolux appliances featuring celebrity Kelly Ripa. Using YouTube’s embedding features, the students are able to isolate particular elements of the commercial for an extended close analysis.
  • “A Cow Tale” is another online project designed to help students practice media literacy though analysis of milk advertisements, dairy factory videos, marketing campaigns, news reports, and cultural representations of milk and cows:  


5. Selling It: Commercialism and the Visual
Product Packaging: a sample activity


Your small company has decided to submit a proposal for what could be a very lucrative contract: creating the name, logo, and bottle/packaging design for rap superstar Eminem’s new line of men’s cologne. Eminem has been very clear about the criteria for this product:

    • it must convey quality and distinctiveness
    • it must convey authenticity without appearing too “street”
    • it must embody the cross-cultural appeal of Eminem’s music
    • it must be stylistically different from the design of Eminem’s albums and other merchandise, yet still recognizable as unique to him


Jay-Z’s Roca Wear label, David Beckham’s cologne line, and Diddy’s Sean John products represent some of the competition. Your pitch to Eminem’s people should include a mock-up of the product and a complete explanation of how your choices reflect his image and desired criteria.

6. Satire and Parody
This blog and accompanying wiki attempt to analyze he enduring appeal of Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic. What other instances of popular artistic satire--variation of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Mona Lisa along with Munch’s The Scream spring to mind--might provide invitations for sustained student investigation?

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