Introduction

This year I want to teach this unit again, trying to see if having a more structured selection of materials in the initial stages helps students to understand what needs to be present in a propaganda poster, and whether this has any effect on the algorithms that they produce.

Lesson aim

To introduce the thinking tasks we will be using, to complete the first three or so activities all of which are sorting tasks.

Thinking aim

Remind the students of how to use the ENV model and the sorting tasks. This will bring forward existing knowledge and start students on the process of observation that is necessary for them to be able to analyze the work later.

Lesson outline

Students were put into small groups and given a selection of images to work with. The images all come from the Soviet era in Latvia`s recent past. The first task was for the students to divide the images into two groups in any way the wanted. The second task was to sort the images into groups eliminating one image at a time. For the third and final task I introduced new images from modern Chinese propaganda posters and asked them if the groups they had used still worked with the new images included. If they didn`t then they had to come up with new ways of excluding the images.

Reflection

The lesson worked well, and the students used much longer to work out their reasons for excluding images than I had anticipated. It was clear from many of the students responses that they knew nothing about the history related to the Latvian posters and immediately felt that the key was to understand any text. Once they were told that they were only to focus on the visual clues they began to look much more closely at the images. The initial reasons for excluding images tended to be quite simple, has yellow/doesn`t have yellow for example but developed into reasons that showed that they were beginning to be aware of patterns in the posters i.e women and children/ men only.

#### Comments

# Alexander Sokol 2012-02-03 13:39
Gillian, thanks for this. I feel that this lesson also creates a wonderful context for bringing learners to the question of the choice of parameters for the division. Formally speaking, presence of a certain colour is an acceptable parameter. However, the question is if it's the best one. And how do we know of something is a better or a worse parameter. This normally creates a good context for introducing the multi-screen model, as 'good-bad' are always determined by the purpose for the division that normally comes from the super-system. What I'd like to ask if you think such an approach may be useful in the context of your work on propaganda posters. Why (not)?
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