McD's 1970s African Americans

In the 1970s, McDonald's began to target African American communities with their advertising. The advertisements, included below, provide a window into a different time and place, after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. 

BOW: McDonald's ads, African Americans, 1970s

  1. Take one of the ads from the body of work above and do a see, think, wonder routine as described below. You can use sticky notes on a whiteboard or a Jamboard (see example).  

  2. See Think Wonder
    What do you see in the ad? What images catch your eye? What do these images make you think about? What questions do you still have? What do you wonder

    Model See, Think Wonder Jamboard

  3. Get into groups. Assign each group a different question from Time and Space, the 'area of exploration'. As a group discuss how how the BOW relates to your question. Pesent your answers to your classmates and discuss each group's findings as a class.

    1. How can the cultural and historical context of a text influence the way it is written or received? 
    2. How do readers approach texts from times and cultures that are different from their own? 
    3. How can texts offer insight into another culture? 
    4. How can the meaning and impact of a text change over time? 
    5. How can texts reflect, represent or shape cultural practices? 
    6. How can language reflect people’s sense of identity or place in society?

  4. What kinds of stylistic and structural features do all of these texts have in common? To what extent are their common features still conventional for print advertising today? Compare your list of common stylistic and structural features to those presented on advertisements, on this page from the text type section.

  5. How would you write a Paper 1 analysis on one of these ads? Create a mind map and outline for an essay, collectively as a class, using collaborative text editing software such as Google Docs. Your outline should be informed by previous discussions. 


An understanding of these ads requires some research into time and place. On a Paper 1 exam, you do not have the ability to research the stimulus texts. For this reason, such texts are not likely to appear on Paper 1. Nevertheless, it is fun to practice writing Paper 1-style responses to such texts, like this student did here.

Last modified: Sunday, 2 January 2022, 6:35 PM