The Very Last Assignment You’ll Have to Grade This Year Week 3

Happiest of Mondays to you dear teacher friend!

They are getting happier I’m sure as you near the finish line for the year.  If you have been following along, you know all about our little class flower shop.  If not, let me fill you in.  This is the perfect year-end project when testing is over and you’re not sure what else to do.  Use this time to have some fun, teach your students a lot of real-world skills, and be truly amazed at how awesome your students are!  Read below to start from the beginning:

     

Are you ready?  Sweet!  This week, your students have learned about Goods and Services, almost completed their business plan or plans, decided what specific types of flowers they will be selling, and how to obtain them.  Your students are now going to secure and or collect resources, and tackle a marketing strategy for their lovely flowers.

Week 3

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills
  • Challenging Problem or Question
  • Sustained Inquiry
  • Authenticity
  • Student Voice & Choice
  • Reflection
  • Critique and Revision

Academic Objectives:

  • Constructing questions
  • Writing cohesively about a topic
  • Collect information from multiple resources
  • Reading charts and graphs
  • Creating charts and graphs
  • Understanding plant needs and how to provide them in an artificial environment
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners
  • Participate in shared research and writing projects 
  • Collaboration with peers and other adults
  • Participate in elections

If you are a massive overachiever, or your students are, you have already devised a plan to obtain the flowers you need for your shop and drafted a letter to go home.  If you haven’t no worries.  You can do that this week.  Gather your chickadees together in a large class group or smaller groups to work on a letter home in the form of a business proposal, or better yet, draft a simple letter explaining what you are doing in class and attach a copy of the business plan.

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Marketing Strategy

Okay, here’s the final piece in the business plan puzzle if you haven’t completed it already.  The key to any marketing strategy and business as a whole is a clear, solid mission statement.  Ours is:

Inspire students and teachers with cross-curricular, standards-based resources that create a lifetime of learning, discovery, and innovation.

In our statement we identify:

What we sell: cross-curricular, standards-based resources

What our product offers: create a lifetime of learning, discovery, and innovation

The “what” of our product and “what” of what our product offers contain the details that make us unique.  We are part of a smaller batch of companies that base our resources on specific learning standards.  We also provide resources that combine multiple subjects, which makes us different from some of our competitors.  Take these factors into consideration and share them with your class as they come up with a knockout mission statement.

What’s Next?
Now your students have to think about their brand.  This is yet another way for them to stand out.  The simplest approach for this is for them to find a highly influential competitor, like Lowes, Home Depot, a local nursery, and study the brand.  Have your students answer the following questions:

What color or colors do they use most often?  Why might they use those colors?

Do they have a slogan?  Explain that a slogan is a consumer-friendly version of their mission statement.  It is a short sentence or phrase that shows a little more of who the company is.  What does the slogan say about the company?

What other things are consistent about this company that make them easy to recognize?

Grading Opportunity: Have your students choose 2 or 3 successful businesses and create a Venn Diagram.  They will only list positive traits of the business brand that they think contribute to the success of the business.  In the center will be the traits that each business has contributing to their success.  Have your students focus on these traits for the success of their own business.

Once your students have identified 3-5 details that go into a solid brand, they will answer the following:

Who am I selling to specifically?  
If you are arranging a market type of event where parents come and buy, then parents would be their target market.  Take a poll of your classroom to see what other interests parents have besides flowers.  The more your students can tailor their brand to their target audience, the more successful they will be.

What problems might they have that my flowers can solve?
Again you come back to the Opportunities section of your business plan.  Why would these parents buy flowers?  How can that play into my brand?

What types of advertising are they most interested in?
Does the target audience respond better to flyers or commercials on TV.  Maybe they like to surf the internet and read things they find on FB.  Have your students make a list of ads they see their parents respond to regularly.

Don’t forget the journal
Remember, the best way for you to keep up with grading and for students to keep up with all this information is to write everything down in a journal or portfolio.  Students should be reflecting on their experience each day by writing in their journals.  The best way to organize is probably to split the journal in half.  The front half is planning and the back half is reflection.  You can glue in a divider of some kind to keep the halves separate, or use a three pronged folder and include a divider.

Back to Branding
Once your students have made their many lists, it’s time to reflect.  Have them break into their 3 to 4 groups, as you have done throughout this project, and create a branding board for your class business.  For your convenience, we’ve provided a link to that below.  Just click the image:

When branding boards are complete, get back together as a class and vote on final elements. Each group will present their board and why they chose the elements they chose.  How do their elements connect to the target audience and the mission statement?
Grading Opportunity: Here again is a great grading opportunity.  You can grade students based on content or based on their presentation.

Homework assignment
Your students are going to go home and brainstorm ways to incorporate your class’ new brand elements into marketing.  Maybe your artsy friends will design flyers or ads.  Encourage students who want to try a logo to draw a sketch or design on the computer.  Maybe you have students who prefer writing.  Have them come up with dialogue for a commercial or a blurb for a web ad.  The sky is the limit.  They just need to go home and think about how they are going to use these elements to make their target audience want to buy flowers.

Well, as Porky Pig likes to say, “that’s all folks!” for this week anyway.  Lots of stuff here for you to do, so I can’t imagine you need any extra.  That being said, if your students are flying through this, here’s a sneak peek at Week 4.  Students are going to start putting ad components and shop components together as the class finally begins division of labor.  Not everyone can work on everything.  Each student needs a different job.

We’re about halfway through and I’m dying to hear how it’s going for you.  Share your ideas, experiences, and funny stories in the comments section below.

Have an awesome week!