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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Shoot the Bear!

Don't Shoot the Bear is an interactive commercial for the brand of error correction products Tipp-Ex. Watch it:

I have used it today with a group of ten year olds and a group of thirteen year olds, and I am now going to use it with my Advanced class.

With the younger ones, I got them to write a list of action verbs on a piece of paper. I had not told them anything about the video. I then wrote on the board "A hunter shoots a bear", and elicited its meaning. I went on to rub out "shoots" and asked them if any of the verbs in their lists could go in its place. I told them that if necessary, they could add "with" so that the sentence would make sense, for example: A hunter plays with a bear. They then had to tick the verbs on their list that would be suitable in the sentence in question.

I then played the video and asked them for verbs with which to complete the sentence. It's really good fun and it gets them practising 3rd person singular "s" (although the sentence does not need to be grammatically correct for the videos to work). It also activates vocabulary as they try to think of as many different actions as possible to try out.

With the advanced students, I'm hopefully going to get something a bit more complex out of them. I will only accept grammatically correct sentences, and demand synonyms of really basic words. Maybe we could hypothesise about what will happen. We can discuss why the same video comes up when different verbs have been entered. We can look up different and alternative meanings in the dictionary. I haven't really decided exactly what we are going to do, I thought I would see what they came up with first.

I do think that this video has endless classroom possibilities though. It could be used as a stimulus for speaking or writing, the students could create a collaborative story about the hunter and the bear. Surely there must be plenty more ways in which we could use this video, so please add your ideas to the comments section to share with us all.

And whatever you do, DON'T SHOOT THE BEAR!
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