The Rainbow Fish by Mark Pfister is a story about a unique fish that has rainbow scales. This fish, while valued for his individual beauty, finds that the creatures of the ocean also want a small piece of uniqueness. When asked if he will share his beautiful scales, he refuses and soon finds that he has no friends. After talking with the great wise octopus, he is guided to share his beauty and realizes the value of friendship and that being different is not so great.
I was attracted to this book because it approaches one of the themes in The Giver by Lois Lowry in a more simplistic way. The imagined community in the novel abhors individuality. When the main character Jonas is appointed to the respectable position as memory keeper, he finds that he is very unique indeed and his entire reality has been a lie. Being the memory keeper requires Jonas to store all the good and bad memories for the entire community. The burden of this task and the great joy of knowledge leave Jonas realizing that ignorance is not bliss and he must share to release his burden and benefit others.
Combining the themes from The Rainbow Fish and The Giver, I was thinking of asking students to pick something that makes them unique to create a commercial advertisement/radio campaign. However, the spinoff would be that students must pick something that nobody would want (for example: a reoccurring nightmare, a bad habit, or an overbearing older sibling.)
I would first begin by having students examine a few well constructed commercials/radio advertisements while giving them a list of techniques (see fallacies below) used to persuade the consumer. On a graphic organizer students would identify the emotion/feeling that the advertisement is trying to make the audience feel, what slogans/catchphrases/catchwords motivate the audience, and then identify which techniques were used to grip the consumer. These examples will serve as models for student created products.
The following is a list of “top 10 fallacies used in advertising” according to
(which are also often used effectively or ineffectively in persuasive essays writing.)
1. Ad hominem (meaning "against the person")—attacks the person and not the issue
2. Appeal to emotions—manipulates people's emotions in order to get their attention away from an important issue
3. Bandwagon—creates the impression that everybody is doing it and so should you
4. False dilemma—limits the possible choices to avoid consideration of another choice
5. Appeal to the people—uses the views of the majority as a persuasive device
6. Scare tactic—creates fear in people as evidence to support a claim
7. False cause—wrongly assumes a cause and effect relationship
8. Hasty generalization (or jumping to conclusions)—draws a conclusion about a population based on a small sample
9. Red herring—presents an irrelevant topic to divert attention away from the original issue
10. Traditional wisdom—uses the logic that the way things used to be is better than they are now, ignoring any problems of the past