Writing & Library Research Methods Lesson Plan: Imagining Audiences

Lesson objective(s): 

To identify different audiences based on the author’s style.

Total estimated time:

50 minutes

Additional outcome(s):

To learn about different types of sources

To vary their own writing based on their audience.

Course work or assignment underway:

Almost finished with Wikipedia assignment.

Work and/or reading completed before class:

Blog posts, wikis & academic articles

Sequence of Classroom Activities

1)    Pass out first pages of several different types of material: an academic article we’ve read, a blog post we’ve read, an article from a trade journal (possibly for teachers), some fan materials (instructions for how to do something, perhaps)

2)    Ask students who they think the audience for each item is.  Have them write down their answers, giving as much information as they can ferret out. (5 minutes)

3)    Put students into groups of 4-5 (5 minutes)

4)    Ask students to discuss how they identified the audience for each piece, and resolve any discrepancies. Request that they underline the most telling parts of the piece. (10 minutes)

5)    Whole-class discussion about the telltale signs that help a reader distinguish one audience from another.  (10 minutes)

6)    Have students choose two of the genres and write a paragraph in each.(15 minutes)

7)    Discussion about what makes it easier/more difficult to write in different genres. (10 minutes)

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