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11 — Being consumer savvy in the 21st century: Part 1

In this sequence and the next the students will plan, draft and create Part B of Assessment task 2, the second key productive component of this unit: Creating a guide to being consumer savvy in the 21st century. ACELY1725 

The students will look at some pre-existing sample guides, information booklets and sites for inspiration. They will negotiate the presentational format for their guides (for example, written: information booklet, brochure; PowerPoint; instructional video), with one requirement being that information and communication technology be used in the creation of their guides. The guides will have the dual purpose of informing their teenage audiences and persuading them to be more consumer savvy. The students will demonstrate the skills, knowledge and understandings that they have gained in this unit, as well as undertaking further research to create their guides.

This sequence, and the one to follow, draws on the General Capabilities of Literacy, Information and Communication Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Social and Personal Capability.

Displaying the sample guides

Direct the students to a classroom display of non-fiction texts where the author has presented information in the format of a guide. Some sample text types might include websites, information booklets, brochures and public service announcements. The students will refer to these examples when thinking about the creation of their own guides and when presented with a set of guiding questions.

Guiding questions

Present the students with the following guiding questions to help them to frame their consumer guides. The questions have been adapted from Kristo and Bamford’s Nonfiction in Focus and will be used as the frame for a series of mini-lessons designed to assist students.

Note: It is understood that the levels of assistance that students will require to complete the culminating project will vary, and the mini-lessons are intended to be used at the point of need and to be used flexibly. 

  1. How will I help my reader to navigate the information?
  2. How will I inform the reader of my knowledge?
  3. How will the style of writing help my reader and drive my purpose (to inform and persuade)?
  4. How will I use visual elements to enhance my guide?

Share the Project success criteria and a Sample assessment rubric for Assessment task 2: Part B with the students.

1. How will I help my reader to navigate the information?

In this mini-lesson, the students will come to understand that the coherence of texts relies on devices that signal text structure: in this case the different access features that will assist their readers to navigate the information presented. ACELA1763ACELA1531

Looking at some sample non-fiction texts, point out to the students that most guides follow a sequential format of some sort. They are written in a step by step fashion, or are ordered in some way. For example: 

They also contain features that help the reader to access information, referred to here as access features. Students can be encouraged to search for and list these access features by browsing the non-fiction information texts on display or they can be provided with a List of access features of information texts.

2. How will I inform the reader of my knowledge?

Explain to the students that throughout the unit they have been encouraged to think critically about a range of persuasive devices used by advertisers. They have completed worksheets to capture their thinking along the way. They can refer to these worksheets, and their previous learning, but the key will be to present the information that they believe to be the most important or the most interesting. They need to narrow their focus and decide on a concept for their guides (for example, ‘Top 5 persuasive ideas’ or ‘10 key ways advertisers ...’) or to focus on a particular persuasive strategy and then flesh this out further with examples. The overall concept will influence the language choices and visual features of their guide.