Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DirecTV's "Don't" commercials

YouTube gives you on-demand access to just about anything, including commercials that have a language teaching purpose.* DirecTV's recent campaign consists of stories that start when someone is not using DirecTV, and end with an unfortunate consequence. I actually had a student suggest this series while we were using ads to learn about expository text structure. The cause-effect chain in each clip is very fun to explore, and can be used to target inference, complex sentence formulation or sequencing (you could also screen-shot each condition and make a visual sequencing activity, or place your shots in something like Popplet for sequencing). As the character's situation often changes, this provides good opportunities to explore the story grammar element of setting, do situational analysis with Sarah Ward's STOP (Space, Time, Objects, People) strategy, or even Social Behavior Mapping (see the work of Social Thinking® by Michelle Garcia Winner). Exploring a few of the clips would also allow you to work on main idea, i.e. what overall is DirecTV saying about their service as opposed to cable.

As these ads are off-color and have hints of violence, you would want to use them with an older population (especially the last two, which are a bit saucy). Also be very careful to preview each one before showing, as these ads have been parodied in inappropriate ways, and you wouldn't want to show one of those videos.

A number of the clips are embedded below- email subscribers click through to the post to see them.

These last two are definitely more for older students/teens:

*If YouTube is blocked at your school, apps such as TubeBox allow you to cache (download) any YouTube video for offline viewing, or download to your computer using sites such as KeepVid.

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