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the persuaders


Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • What Difference Does a Name Make?
  • Student Handout: What Difference Does a Name Make?

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Create an Advertising Map
  • Debate: Naming Rights
  • Advertising Code of Ethics

  • Internet and Other Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
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    » Internet and Other Resources

    A Note about Internet Sites
    Students need to be aware that Web sites sometimes present only one view of an issue. Encourage them to think about Web sites as they are reading. Guiding questions as they review Web sites are: What did you learn from this site? What didn't you learn from this site? Who sponsors this site? What bias might the sponsor have? How current is the site?

    Web sites

    Center for Media Literacy
    The Center for Media Literacy is the nation's clearinghouse for media literacy publications. Their MediaLit Kit, available on the Web site, provides an easy-to-use, skill-based framework for media literacy inquiry.

    Media Literacy Clearinghouse
    Run by educator Frank Baker, the Media Literacy Clearinghouse has gathered an impressive collection of articles on media literacy theory and practice, as well as an index of media literacy inclusion in state standards.

    Media Awareness Network
    The Media Awareness Network runs Canada's premiere Web site supporting media literacy education. The site includes lesson plans, activity ideas, and curriculum connections on a variety of media-related topics, including advertising.

    U.S. Congress
    The official site of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives provides an easily searchable list of various bills that includes their official titles, popular titles, and content descriptions. The Senate site also provides a listing of lobbyists and clients.

    Commercial Alert
    Commercial Alert is an advocacy organization dedicated to protecting citizens from commercial infringement into civic space, including schools. It also opposes marketing to children. The site focuses on taking action (e.g., write a letter to your senator), but the action alerts provide valuable descriptions of relevant legislation and government policy.

    Books by People Featured in "The Persuaders"

    Douglas Rushkoff. Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say (Riverhead Books, 1999). The book has a more detailed account of Rushkoff's views on how commercialism influences consumers and U.S. culture.

    Naomi Klein. No Logo (Picador, 2002). Klein describes the shift from marketing (i.e., selling products) to branding (i.e., selling an image).

    Douglas Atkin. The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers (Portfolio, 2004). Atkins suggests that marketers should use the desire for belonging exploited by cults to take advantage of (and make a profit from) the weakening influence of U.S. cultural institutions.

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