English Commercial Making Project

To be creative, have fun and make something cool!

Step 1: Check out the worksheet attached. Made by my OTE (thanks) so it's in Japanese but the kids and your OTE should understand it. English instructions follow.

Lesson 1:

Do your usual warm up. Then, explain that the next few lessons will be used for an English Commerical Making project. Divide the kids into groups of about 4, hand out the worksheets and have each group leader come up to the front to collect their grammar point. We used the grammar points we had learned in previous classes in the year. Examples include: "would you ~ ?", "may I ~ ?", "what's wrong?", "why?", "what time is ~ ?" Feel free to decide your own. The grammar points were printed out on large sheets of paper and placed in envelopes for added effect. The grammar point will be used in writing the commerical later on.

Each group will make products based on a theme that they decide, examples of themes include:
things that help you lose weight, things that make you grow stronger, delicious foods, ways to wake up on time in the morning, things that let you fly

Once the group has decided on a theme, each member of the group will make a different product that addresses that theme. This involves coming up with a name, description and illustration - to be completed on the attached worksheet.

Group A chooses the theme "wake up on time in the morning"
Student A makes an alarm clock that yells at you in your mother's voice
Student B makes a bed with springs attached that fling you out at a certain time
Student C makes a pair of bed socks that will zap your feet in the morning.

This can be done in Japanese, but encourage the kids to write an English description as well. The name should be in English. By the beginning of the next lesson the worksheet needs to be completed, so assign it for homework if it is not done in class. We set it as homework over winter break, so we asked the kids to colour in their illustration and write everything in pen like they were submitting a proposal to a company. Your mileage may vary.

Lesson 2
In the second lesson the students will choose the best product from the group that they think fits their theme. From now on they will all focus on this one product. The other ideas will have to wait for another opportunity.
Students must come up with an engaging commercial to promote their product, and use their assigned grammar point at some stage in the commercial.
So, this lesson is spent thinking up the story for their commerical.
About 30 seconds long
Each person must have at least one line
The grammar point they were given must feature in the story

Once they have decided the scenario, the students spend the rest of the lesson writing their script in English.

Lesson 3:
Students prepare the things they will need to act out their commerical. Pictures, posters, etc. Encourage them to be creative and use whatever they think they can get away with.
In this lesson, each group will give a short presentation to the class about their product and will recieve feedback from the teacher. This is also a good chance to make sure all groups are up to speed.

Lesson 4-5
Students have 10 minutes to prepare, and around 8-10 to film their skit for the CM. You will need to make use of a school video camera and spare room. Filming will likely take two days for a class of 40ish students. Waiting students can work on perfecting their props and acting talents.

Lesson 6 / Afterwards
You can show the finished commericals to the students in the next class and have them vote for the best one. You could also show them to other grades/classes or exhibit them in your English clubroom if you are lucky enough to have one. The commercials are also a great idea for an exhibit for your Cultural Festival in the 2nd semester. It's up to you what you do with the finished products.

The success of this lesson depends on how much the students get engaged and invested in the project. Encourage them to be creative and to make as complicated a thing as they want. There is a lot of unstructured time in this plan, so don't be afraid to go off track and do something different. Good luck.

Junior High
Video camera, AV equipment, stationary to make posters or props, a separate room to do the filming, worksheet - attached, courage