50 Essays Kid Kustomers Eric Schlosser

Davies 1 Kylee Davies Mrs. Henderson 2/8/12 10:00 Cradle to Grave In the article, “Kid Kustomers,” the author, Eric Schlosser exposes the darker side of advertising, companies targeting children. Schlosser points out the different ways of reaching children, how to get lifelong brand users and how children work with the companies to persuade their parents. The author first shows the more recent leap in the amount of focus groups aimed at young consumers. Companies are looking for “cradle to grave” users and see children as a future investment (Schlosser 520). From investigating just how invested these companies are in children, Schlosser learns how these children have been taught to use different types of nags to get what they want, which benefits the companies (521). Advertisement firms use scientific research and data to find out what is most appealing to children. They then use this research to create new mascots (Schlosser 522). Some of these mascots end up on television and television is a major factor in the advertisements children see and absorb. When this article was made the average child watches 21 hours a week, they see many commercials doing this (Schlosser 523). Television is not the only tool companies use o bring in child customer, the main thing that they use is toys. Giving away toys in their kid meals has increased the revenue of some fast-food companies substantially (Schlosser 525). From this, the fast food mascots are used in theme parks and movies to even further their sales (Schlosser 526). The author of this article not only shows the facts of advertising to children but he also uses certain rhetoric to deliver this message in a more powerful way. The essay, “ Kid Kustomers” , could be seen through a rhetorical triangle, making a connection between the purpose, the audience and the rhetor. The triangle is then surrounded by

Ms. Noël Schoenleber

English 11: Advanced Placement English Language and Composition



General Goal: “An AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines and rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes.” English: English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition, May 2007, May 2008, 8.

Overview: With the above goal in mind, the AP Language and Composition Course offered in eleventh grade has a core NY State syllabus that centers around American literature (and one Shakespeare play), both fiction and non-fiction, in its many genres and modes, as it continually develops throughout the history of our country.  The readings, writings, and assessments emphasize critical thinking, critical reading, and critical writing skills.  Both readings and writings reflect a variety of styles and hone the understanding of rhetorical devices that enhance and illustrate thematic messages.  Student writings in a variety of styles will model rhetorical devices that are appropriate to individual thematic messages.

Course Framework: The course is organized into four units.  Each unit is comprised of one longer work of fiction or drama, which is then supplemented by shorter pieces (mostly non-fiction) in various modes and styles that reinforce similar themes or represent other ideas of the time period.  Students will also be asked to write informal personal and analytical responses as well as formal, longer pieces with multiple drafts that compare and contrast the various works.  Students will be expected to evaluate organization, style, purpose, audience, diction, and rhetorical devices and then use them in their own writings.  To further their understanding, and therefore use of vocabulary, students will study words most commonly used on the SAT exam, including meaning and connotation.

Research Paper: In addition to core study, during the second semester, the students engage in a research paper project, which includes the mastery of research skills according to the guidelines of the Modern Language Association Handbook, MLA.  The project includes the choice of a primary American non-fiction text; a development of a cogent thesis for that work; research and study of supplementary texts; and the ability to successfully complete an annotated bibliography, a first draft, and a final draft of the paper.  Thus, not only are appropriate research skills reviewed, but the student studies the many rhetorical devices employed in the primary source, as well as the supplementary research texts.  In addition, the execution of the paper allows for the individual voice and style of the student to be expressed through language devices.  Students conference with the teacher and receive feedback during these multiple stages of research and writing.  

Course of Study:

Unit One Theme:  Language on Language

Essential Question:  How can we use rhetoric effectively in order to argue, persuade, or spur others to act?

Core Reading: The Tragedy of Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare

Supplemental readings include:

·          “On Being a Cripple,” an essay by Nancy Mairs

·          Lou Gehrig’s retirement speech

·          an editorial by Toni Morrison

·          an excerpt from John M. Barry’s book, The Great Influenza

·          “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” an essay by Sherman Alexie

·          “Kid Kustomers,” an essay by Eric Schlosser

Unit Two Theme: The Individual and Community

Essential Question:  What should the role of the individual be to his or her community?

Core Text:  The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller

Supplemental readings include:

·          an excerpt from The Wordy Shipmates, a history of the American Puritans by Sarah Vowell

·          an excerpt from Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, by Michael Shermer

·          Lillian Hellman’s letter to the House Committee on Un-American activities

·          Why I Wrote the Crucible,” an essay by Arthur Miller

·          “Civil Disobedience,” an essay by Henry David Thoreau

Visual Texts

·          Political Cartoons from the era of McCarthyism

Unit Three Theme:  Identity and the American Dream

Essential Question:  Is the American Dream an achievable goal for all citizens, or is it a myth?

Core reading:

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Supplemental Readings:

·          “On Dumpster Diving,” an essay by Lars Eightner

·          “The F-Word,” an essay by Firoozeh Dumas

·          “The End of White America?” an essay by Hua Hsu

Visual Texts:

Portfolio: “Reading Images of Individual Opportunity”

Unit Four Theme:  Gender

Essential Question:  What are the implications of gender roles in American society?

Core text:  A Streetcar Named Desire, a play by Tennessee Williams

Supplemental Readings:

·          “How Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes,” an essay by Alexis de Tocqueville

·          “If I Were a Man,” an essay by Rebecca Solnit

Visual Texts:

A Streetcar Named Desire, a film directed by Elia Kazan, and media images of gender.

Major tasks for the course will include:

  • Timed, in-class essays
  • Extended analytical essays
  • Vocabulary development
  • Tests and quizzes
  • A research paper


This course requires a considerable commitment and sense of responsibility on the part of the student, as well as extensive work and participation.  Grades will be calculated as follows:

Writing assignments                       50%

Tests                                                30%

Quizzes                                           10%

Participation and preparation          10%

Makeup Policy:

  • A missed assignment due to an excused absence should be handed in the day following the student's return to class.  A student may request a further extension based on a multiple-day, excused absence. 
  • A test or quiz missed due to an excused absence must be made up within one week.  It is the student's responsibility to arrange to make up work.
  • For major assignments (such as essays), a 5% late penalty will be deducted for each day an assignment is late.  I stop taking off late points once the maximum possible grade is 65, so there is always an incentive to complete a major assignment.


Please respect the following rules:

1. Be in your seat and ready to work when the bell rings.

2. Stay in the room during the first and last 10 minutes of class. 

3. Bring materials (books, binder, pens, etc.) to class every day.

4. Refrain from eating or drinking in class(Water is permitted.)

5. Put away electronic devices, such as phones, before entering the classroom.  Electronics should be put away throughout our class time, unless I give explicit permission to use them for an academic purpose.

We will adhere to all school policies regarding attendance, lateness, dismissal from class, and plagiarism.

I am looking forward to a positive and productive year!

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