Feedback From Users:<\/h1>\n

Educators who have used these materials have provided the following feedback and suggestions based on their experiences with students. If you would like to provide feedback, send your name and comments to: pls_feedback@ithaca.edu<\/a><\/p>\n

Cyndy Scheibe<\/span>, Psychology Professor, Ithaca College<\/h2>

This review is for: 1984 TV Commercials for Ronald Reagan, \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d and \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d\r\nI teach a course for freshmen and sophomores at Ithaca College called Media Literacy & Popular Culture, but these particular commercials would work well for any middle school or high school class discussing this particular election (1984) or the ways in which any presidential candidates use TV commercials as part of their campaigns \u00e2\u20ac\u201c and also to decode advertising techniques in general. \r\n\r\nIn doing these decodings with my students, I incorporate some of the questions and information found in the teacher guide provided with the lesson. But since I have a large class (60+ students), I want to make sure that all of the students get a chance to discuss and decode the commercial, so I find it works best to have students work in pairs using a handout that contains the voiceover script for each commercial. I also want them to bring in specific terms and concepts from their readings and previous class discussions. I show the commercial several times, each time giving them a few minutes to discuss in their pairs and write down what they noticed in the commercial. I can then pose specific questions to the whole class, or call on specific pairs to see what they wrote down.\r\n\r\nHere are specific concepts and terms that these two commercials work really well to discuss:\r\n\r\n\u00e2\u20ac\u00a2\tthe conclusion that the commercial leads viewers to make, and the reasons given or implied in the commercial leading them to that conclusion\r\n\u00e2\u20ac\u00a2\tconnotative images (images that represent something else)\r\n In \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d \u00e2\u20ac\u201c the flag and the Capitol Dome (patriotism), the house with the white picket \r\nfence (middle class values), the boat leaving the harbor (success), the bride (family, happiness, \r\ngoodness), etc.\r\n In \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d \u00e2\u20ac\u201c the bear (Soviet Union), the single man (the United States military), bear\u00e2\u20ac\u2122s claws \r\n(military weapons)\r\n\u00e2\u20ac\u00a2\tconnotative language (words and phrases that represent something else)\r\n In \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d \u00e2\u20ac\u201c \u00e2\u20ac\u0153morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d (a new day, a fresh start, a better world), \u00e2\u20ac\u0153return to \r\n\twhere we were less than four short years ago\u00e2\u20ac\u009d (under a Democratic administration)\r\n In \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d \u00e2\u20ac\u201c \u00e2\u20ac\u0153there\u00e2\u20ac\u2122s a bear\u00e2\u20ac\u009d (Soviet Union), \u00e2\u20ac\u0153in the woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d (the world), \u00e2\u20ac\u0153others don\u00e2\u20ac\u2122t see it at \r\nall...say the bear is tame\u00e2\u20ac\u009d (liberals against increasing defense spending)\r\n\u00e2\u20ac\u00a2\tidentifying specific production techniques designed to evoke specific emotional responses\r\no\tpleasant upbeat music and warm male voiceover in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d; heartbeat sound effect that speeds up, quiet music and serious male voiceover in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d\r\no\tsoft lighting, montage of images in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d; harsh lighting, close-up video following the bear\u00e2\u20ac\u2122s progress in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d\r\no\tend shot and slogan: image of flag in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d; Prepared for Peace in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d\r\n\u00e2\u20ac\u00a2\tapplying specific terms:\r\no\tFUD Factor \u00e2\u20ac\u201c implying Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (often found in political messages, advertising, and news coverage) in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Bear in the Woods\u00e2\u20ac\u009d\r\no\tDangling Comparatives \u00e2\u20ac\u201c words that imply a comparison but without giving any specifics about who or what the comparison is to (e.g., \u00e2\u20ac\u0153stronger and prouder and better\u00e2\u20ac\u009d in \u00e2\u20ac\u0153Morning in America\u00e2\u20ac\u009d)\r\no\tGlittering Generalities \u00e2\u20ac\u201c terms that generally imply happiness and the good life (new families, buying homes, prouder, stronger, better)\r\n\r\n<\/p>

David Rhodes<\/span>, HS History Teacher, The Alternative School for Math & Science<\/h2>

In my middle school history class, we used the materials related to the most recent election in the following way: 1. Decode the election documents posted on the Look Sharp website. 2. Students each chose a topic of interest from a list of issues and researched the positions of different candidates by finding quotes from the candidates and thinking critically about sources of those quotes. 3. Split the class into groups of 3-4.  In each group, the first student presents their topic and what they found out about the views of the different candidates. The other students share their reflections\/perspectives on the topic presented while the presenter focuses exclusively on seeking to understand the views of their peers. The presenter reflects on the different positions\/perspectives and decides where they stand, identifying what additional information would be important to inform their position. 4. The same process is followed until all students have had a chance to present their topic.<\/p>\r\n\r\n