Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The 50 Worst Inventions

Sites don't need to be all flash-animated and drag-and-drop in order to represent a good context for therapy. Time Magazine's recent 50 Worst Inventions is a case in point. The site presents a hysterical array of bad ideas in the form of a clickable list, often followed by great images and YouTube clips of commercials for the products, which range from HeadOn (Apply Directly to the Forehead!) to the Comfort Wipe (don't ask) to the Segway. I have used similar lists with groups of students who just love talking about marketing successes and failures, whatever their skill level.
Enjoy vio (I can't make an upside-down i on this computer). It's Coke's brainchild- "carbonated flavored milk." Ew.

Some of the topics could benefit from a quick Google so your students get the full picture of, say, what Microsoft Bob operating system was all about. But that's easy enough!

Language Lens:
  • The site's descriptive text and video provide a great opportunity to develop information mapping skills and other comprehension strategies.
  • Real world connections can be used to develop background knowledge and schema.
  • A possible extension activity could involve students creating their own "bad idea" inventions, or oral presentation "commercials" for these products.

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