Sylphie's Squizzes: The Thing on a String

article by Zoë Disher , photo by Wikimedia Commons

Learning intention:

I am learning to use software so that I can construct, edit and publish texts for a specific target audience.


Success criteria:                       

  • I can use context clues to identify the target audience of a text.
  • I can create my own text using the context of the intended audience.
  • I can use software to construct, edit and publish text.


Essential knowledge:               


Focus question:

How does the context of the intended audience affect the composition of a text?


After reading The Thing on a String, ask students who the target audience is (children). Ask them what clues give this away. Encourage them to look at vocabulary, specific details, pictures and subheadings. Sample answers include:

  • simple vocabulary,
  • mentioning kids and that a yo-yo can fit in your pocket (making information relevant through association)
  • a picture of a child playing with a yo-yo (making text to self connections)
  • subheadings are fun and alliterative (resonate with target audience)


View the Wired article How Professional Throwers Are Building a Better Yo-Yo. Ask students to compare this article to The Thing on a String and to find clues in the text that tell them about the target audience. Sample answers include the use of the pound sign suggesting it’s for a UK audience, the technical vocabulary suggesting it’s for people interested in mechanics and engineering, the picture is of an adult suggesting it’s for an older audience, lack of subheadings suggesting it’s for a more sophisticated audience who can focus on a larger clump of text.


Inform students they will be creating a digital yo-yo advertisement for a specific target audience. Students should write down their intended target audience and what they must consider when planning their advertisement before starting. For example, an advertisement for kids would be bright and colourful, with simple vocabulary and fun illustrations, while an advertisement aimed at adults would have dynamic fonts and more text with technical vocabulary. Information on how to plan and create advertisements can be found on the Literary Ideas webpage How to Write an Advertisement.


Once planned, students use digital software such as Canva, Microsoft Paint, Microsoft PowerPoint Online to create their advertisement. As an extension, students could create a video advertisement, still taking into consideration their target audience, and edit using software such as Adobe After Effects. More information about all digital software listed can be found on the NSW Digital Learning Selector.