Catalogue Lingo Past and Present
Social Studies, Language Arts
Change; Writing for a specific audience
- Mail-order catalogues on this site
- Contemporary catalogues brought in by students
- Overhead projector and screen (optional)
- Ask each student to bring in one or more mail-order catalogues from
Before class, print out a few pages from one or more historic catalogues,
set up a projector and screen.
- First, as a class, look at a few pages from one of the historical
and select one item, such as a pair of shoes, a bike, or a stove; the item
must also appear in modern catalogues.
- Next, select a similar item from a contemporary catalogue.
- Write out the texts accompanying each item on your whiteboard or
them onto a screen.
- As a class, compare the way both texts are written; look at word
structure, vocabulary and expressions used, and content.
- Ask each student to choose an item that they own and to write text for
that may have appeared in a catalogue in the past.
- Ask a few students to read out what they have written.
- Optionally, ask students to choose an historic item and write text
accompany it in a contemporary catalogue.
- To extend this activity into an art activity, ask your students to
a catalogue page for the old catalogue using a modern-day item of their