TIPS FOR WORKSHOP LEADERS
The BADvertising Workshop is a Truth-in-Advertising project...the issues involved are honesty, compassion, cause and effect, and ethics.
Avoid turning anyone off by calling it an anti-smoking project. As soon as you mention smoking, people of all ages immediately throw up their defenses and preconceived attitudes. You may lose people who would enjoy and benefit from the process.
Create a BADvertising team, including the art teacher or computer graphics teacher.
Conduct the workshop in a relaxed, informal environment where laughter is welcome and messes are easily cleaned up.
Before you begin, create a controlled way for using up excess energies, then bring the students together in a way that will optimize cooperation and help to unify them as a group with a mission.
The emotional impact of the BADvertising imagery necessitates an emotional release. Expect a certain amount of laughter and side commenting.
Allow plenty of time for guided discussion. Help the students to express their feelings and discover the truth for themselves.
Plan for being available to those who might want to speak privately.
Avoid judging the person when you respond to comments that shock or offend you.
Statistics are meaningless to most of us, and even more so to children. Large numbers can be better understood when associated with their feelings about some meaningful experience. Create a mental picture. (1,000 people a day die from smoking. How many are there in your school? How many die in a plane crash?)
Find something positive to say about each finished product. Focus on how each one might be used...Would it be more effective on a billboard or a placemat? What are the criteria? Look for the strengths in concept, color, skillful rendering, attention to detail. Does their image clearly convey their message?
TIPS FOR BADVERTISING WITH KIDS
Let the children do the talking.
Allow plenty of time for discussion.
Ask questions -- let the children find the answers:
Use related activities to further develop awareness.
Statistics are meaningless to the best of us. Large numbers can be better understood when compared with known quantities. They will be even better remembered if they bear some emotional significance for the child. For example, how many people live in our town? How many go to our school? Why does an airplane crash make headline news? How many more die from tobacco each day ...and nobody mentions it? Where is the team of investigators?
A picture is worth a thousand words…and laughter is the best medicine. So what else is new? Why not give it a try?
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© 1995, 2000, 2005 Bonnie Vierthaler