Nancy's Fancy Dancing Ants

poem by Neal Levin , illustrated by David Legge

Learning intention:

I am learning how to visually organise information in a persuasive manner so that I can convince an audience to take action.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify persuasive techniques I have seen on promotional posters
  • I can use relevant persuasive techniques to grab people’s attention
  • I can include relevant factual information in my poster
  • I can make design choices that make my poster visually appealing to audiences


After reading the poem, draw students’ attention back to the last stanza:

‘They’re brilliant and so talented’

say critics and informants.

‘Be sure to catch this radiant

performing ants’ performance!’

Discuss why it would be of interest to an audience whether critics and other people recommend the show and why that may convince other to attend. Ask students to consider posters they may have seen on billboards or plastered to walls or telegraph poles advertising concerts and events, and if they have ever noticed reviews or ratings on these posters.

Discuss the fact that these posters are designed to:

  • Grab people’s attention
  • Inform them about the performance details
  • Convince them to attend

For this to work successfully, not many words are used and designers must instead think creatively about how to achieve this all in one poster.

Explain to students that they are going to be designing promotional posters for the ants’ upcoming performance and they need to use persuasive and informative techniques to ensure as many people attend as possible. These can be designed on paper or online using a free graphic design tool such as Google Slides or Canva.

Discuss the information that is required to appear on the poster so that audiences understand exactly what is being advertised. This should include:

  • The name of the group (Nancy’s Fancy Dancing Ants)
  • The location and date of the performance (students can make up these details)
  • How tickets can be purchased (This may be as simple as ‘tickets available at the door’ or students may include a fictional ticketing website)

Ask students to give suggestions of persuasive techniques that may be used in a poster of this nature. Suggestions may include:

  • Using a quote to convince audiences that the performance is worth seeing, such as the one in the last stanza.
  • Including an image that gives the audience a sense of what they would be seeing.
  • A clear call to action (e.g. Get in before they sell out!, You don’t want to miss it!, Bring your friends!).
  • Visually appealing design. This should take into consideration colour scheme and using different fonts to break up different sections (e.g. the critic’s quote should be a distinctly different font type and colour from the venue and date information).
  • Font size should ensure that the writing the designer deems most important should be bigger than less important information.


Once posters have been completed, students may wish to present them to the class and should give a brief explanation of their design choices.