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Monday Morning Ready10.14.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

More than 20 years before the iPad, an entrepreneur saw the potential of interactive, digital magazines. And in 1987, a small Dallas-based company launched a floppy disk magazine. It cost $19.95 per issue. It was supposed to be a grand experiment in the future of magazines.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

In 1987, "The New Aladdin" was an entirely new kind of interactive experience. How is it like the online news sources you use today? How is it different?

Grade 5-6

John Henson, editor of "The New Aladdin", said the publication had similarities to "everything from a news magazine to a science-fiction digest to a children's book." How is the magazine like each of these examples?

Grade 7-8

One experience offered by "The New Aladdin" was "Meet the Pres," which was a spoof on a presidential news conference. According to the article, some answers to readers' questions were taken from actual press conferences and others were creative satire. What potential problems do you see arising from this format?

Grade 9-10

"The New Aladdin" was developed nearly 30 years ago. Although revolutionary at the time, some of its elements are common in today's technology. Think of the innovations being developed today. Which of those do you think will be common elements in magazines 30 years from now?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Magazine

PROCESS:

  1. Display the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's fact sheet on magazine publishers. As a class, explore how magazine publishing has evolved since 1741, when the first magazines were published in the colonies. (You may wish to review and summarize this information before conducting the activity with younger students.)
  2. Instruct students to conduct research to learn more about the history of magazines. Challenge them to identify technological innovations, sociological changes and economic factors that have influenced the magazine industry over time. 
  3. As a class, compile a list of elements commonly found in today's magazines. (i.e., types of articles, advertisements, photos, interactive features, etc.) Be sure to analyze both print and online versions. Discuss how the target audience influences the features, format and function of various magazines.
  4. Using that list as a guideline, instruct students to create their own magazines. Challenge them to select features, a format and functions that will appeal to their target audience.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their work with the class. Discuss reasons why certain features, the format or specific functions are appropriate for the target audience.   

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Complete this project as a class. Have students create a magazine for students in their school. Provide samples of print magazines aimed at this age group. As you review those periodicals, encourage students to identify features they like and the format they think will most appeal to their readers. Assign each student a task to be completed before a specified deadline. Collect all materials. Guide students as they compile their work into a classroom magazine.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into two groups. Instruct each group to create a magazine for students in their school. Provide samples of print magazines aimed at this age group. Give each group time to review the materials. Challenge them to identify features they like and the format they think will most appeal to their readers. Instruct groups to assign each member a task. Give them time to complete their work and compile the components into a magazine. Have groups share and compare their finished products.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Give groups the option of creating print or digital magazines. Instruct them to identify a target audience and then select features, a format and functions that will appeal to those readers. Give groups time to complete their work. Have them share and compare their finished products with the class. 

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to identify a target audience and create a digital magazine. Challenge them to select features, a format and functions that will appeal to their readers. Give groups time to complete their work. Have them share and compare their finished products with the class. 

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
United We Stand: Magazine Cover Analysis
In this lesson from the National Museum of American History, students analyze and interpret magazine covers from the July 1942 “United We Stand” magazine campaign. Then they design their own magazine covers.

Behind the Designs
This online exhibit from the National Museum of American History considers what makes a good magazine cover design. The cover designs behind popular magazines published during World War II invite comparison of the artistic and design philosophies behind the magazines and how they were the “United We Stand” campaign to generate support for the war effort.

Commemorative Historical Magazine
In this teacher-created lesson, high-schoolers design and produce a publication similar to Time magazine's special retrospectives. After researching the causes and events of World War II, they write articles, select illustrations, and create an appropriate cover and layout.

Mobilizing Children on the World War II Homefront
This lesson plan from the National Museum of American History examines propaganda cartoons and other primary sources to analyze how young Americans have been mobilized for war. Students will analyze the intent and purpose behind these images and explore how the government attempted to unite the country behind the war efforts.

Harken Back to the Glory Days When “Time” Magazine Was King
Read this Smithsonian article to learn about an exhibition that honors the once powerful cover shot and the artists who made celebs shine bright.
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