Using a TV commercial to create a drama narration/dialogue activity
Suggested level – B1+ This education ministry commercial from Singapore tells the story of a young boy who does badly at school, before being motivated by his teachers who help him ask questions, gain confidence and search for solutions. Procedure:
1. Watch the commercial once with the sound turned off and elicit suggestions from the class based on the following prompts.Who are the main characters? What is the connection between them? How does the boy feel? What is the man doing at the beginning? Where does the action take place?
- Watch the commercial again. Put students into small groups to discuss the story further. Depending on what information come out in step 1, you might want to point out that the story is told in reverse – the man at the beginning is the boy we see later on.
- Watch the video again. Ask students to try and write down any of the ‘why’ questions they hear.
Elicit ideas and put these phrases up: Why can’t a car drive itself? Why can’t he see it? Why don’t you show them? Why can’t we try an element…? Why don’t you give it a rest man? Why can’t I do better? Why? Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why can’t we turn failure into success? Why can’t we change the way we power the world? And any of the responses: Yes, we can. Of course you can, and you will. Why would you want to be? Clarify the chronology of the story by getting students to number the questions as they happen in time. Suggested answers:
- Why can’t a car drive itself?
- Why can’t he see it?
- Why don’t you show them?
6.Why can’t we try an element…? 5.Why don’t you give it a rest man? 4.Why can’t I do better? 3.Why? 2 Why can’t I be like everyone else? 1 Why can’t we turn failure into success? 10 Why can’t we change the way we power the world?
Tell students to work in groups. One student is Teck, another his teachers, another can be the friend (questions 5 and 8) and another the narrator. If groups are bigger the narration and teacher parts can be shared. Students write a narrative to combine with the questions. This can be very simple (Teck failed his exams. But a teacher said ‘Why can’t we turn failure into success?) or more complex (Because Teck failed his exams he was sent to a class for students who were not doing well at school.) Emphasize that the narration doesn’t have to be long or complicated, it should just introduce the questions and tell Teck’s story. Monitor and provide assistance as required. Finally, students can perform their versions to the class. Notes: The ad is actually for teacher recruitment. This is the accompanying text: One teacher can change your perspective. Many teachers can change your life. Discover the impact of Teck’s teachers on the different stages of his life — where curiosity was encouraged, perceived norms were challenged, and individuality, embraced. If you think you can be that difference, join us. There is another ad in this series featuring a girl student