Monday, July 27, 2015


Have you ever thought about slogan writing? Kentucky Fried Chicken is “Finger lickin’ good.” At Burger King, you can expect to “Have it Your Way.” And everyone wants to go to Disneyland because it is “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

In a touching and funny middle grade novel, Death by Toilet Paper, seventh grader Ben loves to enter sweepstakes. He enters as many contests as he can, optimistically hoping to help his widowed mother pay the bills. Slogan contests offer the best chance of winning because not everyone is creative or persistent enough to take the time to write a good advertisement. Ben dreams of winning a big prize from the Royal-T Bathroom Tissue Company. He puts serious thought into a clever slogan in between dealing with a boisterous grandfather, a bully at school, and a best friend who loves horror make-up. And to add to the fun, every chapter begins with a FUNtastic fact about bathrooms. Did you know that most toilets flush in the key of E-flat? Or that Americans use an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper each day?
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart would make a great read aloud in the classroom. Your students will find Ben to be a lovable and spunky character worth rooting for. The book should also inspire your students to try their hand at slogan writing. Here are some tips to remember:
1.    Brief is better. No more than one sentence long.
2.    Make it catchy. A slogan should have a good rhythm and be easy to say.
3.    Capture the essence. A slogan tells customers why they want the product or service.
4.    Originality is memorable. Don’t recycle old ads. Attract attention with something new.       
And when your class is finished writing their own slogans, maybe your students will want to research some FUNtastic facts about a topic of their choice. Did you know that it takes 384 trees to produce the toilet paper one person uses in a lifetime?

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