This activity focuses on listening and word order.
Commercials use speech to describe a product or service, provide information or depict a situation intended to draw our attention to a product’s efficacy or appeal. They often use language in short, dynamic or humorous chunks. By scripting the content and jumbling the words students have to think about sentence structure, aided by their memory of what was said. This results in precise attention to the content as students become highly motivated to check their predictions against the spoken content.
Choose a commercial and transcribe the spoken content.
Jumble the sentences/phrases on a worksheet.
Introduce the ad and watch it once. Elicit responses – was it funny/interesting/appealing? What was being sold? What/where was the setting?
Give out the worksheet. Students work together trying to put the words in the correct order. If you think it appropriate, play the ad a second time after five minutes but without looking at the worksheet. Continue with the activity. Watch the commercial and check the answers.
Alternatively, put the jumbled sentences on the board one by one and get the students in teams to work out the order. When a team thinks they have the correct order they call out. Check their answer. If it’s correct, they get two points, if it’s wrong, all the other teams get one point.