Grade: Senior
Subject: other

#2411. The Power of Words

other, level: Senior
Posted Mon Nov 12 16:14:59 PST 2001 by Sandra Alvstad (
West Central Area Secondary School, Barrett, MN 56326
Materials Required: computer
Activity Time: 3 class periods
Concepts Taught: media literacy and advertisements

Resources needed:
This is a modification of an idea in Double speak
Words as Weapons and/or Double Speak Box by Learning Tree.
Computer lab
notes from discussion of the power of words
printed handout describing 3-person project

After view and discussing Words as Weapons and Double Speak, tell the students that now it is their turn to experiment with the power of words.

Use descriptive phrases to describe common foods and beverages.
Use emotional manipulation to create an enticing advertisement and menu.
Explore the power of words and visuals to attract potential customers.

Students are given this handout:
Renovate a Restaurant

Your corporation has purchased a small restaurant that had a failing business.
Your research discovered that the problem was not population base but that
the menu was too bland. You intend to serve the same food; but by using
double speak (emotion and label manipulation, half-truths, hidden messages,
etc.), you will change the perception of the menu and restaurant.

1. Name your new restaurant and develop a theme. (for example you
may wish to use the Wild, Wild West). Be sure your restaurant's name is not
objectionable or an already existing name.

2. Create a Menu using double speak names for food and descriptions of
the food. (e.g. Bronco Buster Burger- a tasty slab of beef grilled on an open
fire, topped with steak sauce, melting cheese, with deep-fried potato critters on
the side.) Do not use any objectionable double speak or alcoholic beverages.

3. Design an ad for the local papers for your open house. It should be
attractively done with a clip art and double speak. Be sure to use your theme
and include some of the same double speak from the menu. Include location
and hours open.

4. Design the decor. You may do a 3-D drawing of the interior, create a
diorama with interior and exterior, or do a floor plan with a written description
of the decor.

Modeling: Teacher reads and has available samples of previously well-done menus, ad, and designs as models.

Assigned groups of 3 will then begin work on their restaurant plan.

Teacher walks around the room checking progress, and acceptable themes, menu items, etc.

Day 3 students present to the class their theme, ad, 2 menu items, and decor.

Closure: Students may wish to vote on the most effective and appealing renovation.

After grading the work, the teacher may want to display all the ideas on the bulletin board for other classes to see.