This activity uses an advert to demonstrate how students’ imaginations can be put to work by giving them access to the sound but not the picture. In the advert, which is for a German renewable energy company, we hear a mysterious Mr W tell us a bit about his life. Students are then asked to use his words to write a story. Note that the actor in this clip has a false French accent.
- Language level: Intermediate (B1)
- Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults; CLIL
- Time: 50 minutes
- Activity: Creative writing
- Topic: Renewable energy
- Language: Adverbs
- Materials: Video; Worksheet
Lesson plan outline
- Tell students that you are going to introduce them to a mystery man called Mr. W.
- Give out copies of the worksheet Mr. W (included in the PDF download) and ask students to complete the text by adding the adverbs.
- Let students compare their answers.
- Let students correct their answers by letting them hear Mr. W speak. Play the clip but do not let students see the screen (i.e. audio only).
- Help students with any unknown words or language.
- Ask your students to listen to the clip again. This time, ask them to ignore Mr. W’s voice and the piano music, and concentrate on the other noises that they can hear in the background. Allow students to make a list of the things they hear. Allow them to compare ideas after listening. (Note that there are a few interesting noises that might engage students’ imaginations for the next step: footsteps, something smashing, someone screaming, etc).
- Dictate the following questions to your students:
* What do you think Mr W. looks like?
* Who is he and where is he from?
* Why do you think people didn’t like him?
* What did he do to get on their nerves?
* Who do you think finally accepted him for what he is?
* What is his new job?
- Brainstorm your students for answers to the questions and write ideas on the board. Alternatively, allow students to discuss the questions in pairs.
- Ask your students to write a short story about Mr. W. Ask them to plan it by considering the questions from step 7. Set a minimum number of words (150, for example).
- Invite students to read out their stories to the rest of the class before taking them in for correction.
- Let your students watch the video clip from the start and stop it at 1:45 (just after Mr. W says, “I finally feel useful – good at something.”). Ask your students if they can explain the advert. There is a clue in the picture (the windmill).
I think I was always misunderstood. People just didn’t seem to like me. I think I annoyed them, I got on their nerves. I don’t know why. That’s just the way it was. Maybe I was too intense. Maybe I came on too strong. I don’t know, I really can’t say. Yeah, it was lonely, really lonely, but you get used to it after a while. And then one day, everything changed – somebody finally accepted me for what I am. Since I’ve got this job, life is completely different. I finally feel useful – good at something.
(Note that some students may not understand the advert. Ask other students to explain it to them – in their mother tongue if necessary).