While I am no longer in the classroom, (I am full time at the IB now), I do still get random inspiration and excitement about different ideas for lesson activities or units. The following idea comes directly from my online Christmas shopping, as I am scrambling to buy some last minute gifts for family and friends!
I have done packaging design for students as a full unit, where they focus on packaging that shows their products are healthy, ethical and tasty, but for this activity, I would just have students design FUN or BEAUTIFUL packaging. This could be a chance for students to bring in their skills as an artist, (I do a lot of digital design, using Adobe Illustrator, so this would be ideal!)
Statement of Inquiry: The products we buy can send signals about who we are.
Key concept: Communication
“Communication is the exchange or transfer of signals, facts, ideas and symbols. It requires a sender, a message and an intended receiver. Communication involves the activity of conveying information or meaning. Effective communication requires a common “language” (which may be written, spoken or nonverbal)." - There's also a design specific definition, but the general definition is perfect.
Related concept: Markets and trends
Markets can be considered as sectors and segments comprised of groups of individuals with similar needs. Trends involve short- and long-term patterns of consumer behaviour.
Global context: Identities and relationships - Identity formation.
Who am I? Who are we? Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.
Brief: You have design packaging for chocolate that makes people want to buy it as a gift. This means the packaging should increase the value or the chocolate, so that buyers would pay more for the item.
Students should consider what sort of messages the chocolate buyer wants to send about themselves an dwhat they think about the person they are buying the chocolate for. Are they classy? fun? an art lover? sophisticated?
Le Chocolat des Francais, a chocolate company started by art-school graduates.
Maison Boissier, a french chocolate and candy shop, opened in 1827.
There are of course lots of other companies that can be used as inspiration - I am just sharing these two as these are the ones I have been eyeing up for Christmas gifts, and the ones that make me think of doing this activity!