With the Presidential election around the corner, I have noticed quite a few slogans on T shirts that make me laugh out loud or cringe in embarrassment. Whoever you are voting for, there is sure to be a T shirt to make a statement! This got me thinking about T shirt slogans and the thoughts we have about the people wearing them (well, at least I do!). What a fun way to talk about the social language concepts of inferences, conversation topics and being politically correct in today’s world (and the hidden rules that go along with this)!
I found this great freebie on TPT from Cara’s Creative Playground with a variety of clip art baseball style T shirts. You can make your own slogan activities for your late elementary through high school students to figure out the meaning of the slogan or guess who might wear these shirts. If you don’t want to make your own, the internet is FULL of great examples (preview first my friends, preview first). On a related note, I also found a cool website, Stereotype Design, that gives a few sentences on a T shirt and you have to guess the movie ( well, hello figuring out the big picture from details!).
You can create a whole Pinterest board of t shirt slogans to work on these skills as well (or just click for my board here; it’s a growing work in progress, just like me). Walk them through a few examples to practice together, then see how they do!
The questions you can pose with the slogans could include:
What do you think the message means/intent?
Is this literal or sarcastic?
Who might wear this shirt? Who would NEVER wear this shirt?
What do you think other people might think or feel when they see this shirt?
Where would it be okay to wear this shirt? Where would it NOT be okay to wear this shirt?
What first impression do you have of someone wearing this t shirt?
What background knowledge might you need to understand the slogan?
Would you wear this t shirt? Why or why not?
If you disagree or are upset with a t shirt slogan, should you say something? Why or why not?
*Ask your students to take pictures of any other interesting t shirts they see to extend this activity. You can call it “operation slogan sleuth”! I would clearly state the rule that the slogan can’t have any profanity, especially with your middle schoolers on up.
Any good slogan t shirts that you have seen recently? Share here!