Which is noisier: firing a gun or firing an employee? What about typing a letter or typing an email? (Perhaps your students aren’t old enough to remember what a typewriter is!) In this activity learners choose the noisiest collocations before identifying the sounds in this this very clever advert by Saatchi & Saatchi, Italy for Top Digital, an audio productions company.
- Language level: Elementary (A2)
- Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults; CLIL
- Time: 25 minutes
- Activity: Matching collocations
- Topic: Film & cinematography
- Language: Verb + noun collocations; The –ing form of the verb
- Materials: Video; Worksheets
Lesson plan outline
- Tell students that you have a puzzle for them. Give out copies of the first worksheet (Collocation puzzles 1 and 2) for them to complete. This is included in the PDF download.
- Note that any unknown language can probably be explained using mime, gesture, or your own sound effects.
- ‘Scratching the decks’ (or more commonly ‘scratching‘) is the sound that DJs make – you will hear this in the video clip.
- Let students compare their answers.
- Go over the answers (these are on the second worksheet – Which is the loudest? – see below) and drill students’ pronunciation of the phrases.
- Give out copies of the second worksheet – Which is the loudest? (This is included in the PDF download.) Ask students to consider each pair of collocations and decide which of the two actions would make the most noise.
- Let different groups share their answers. This can lead to students giving reasons to justify their ideas. For example:
* Eating spaghetti versus eating chips: It depends if we are talking about British or American chips.
* Sawing wood versus sawing a woman in half: It depends how much the woman screams.
- Tell students to hide their worksheets. If you have the type of student that cheats, take all the worksheets back.
- Tell students that they are going to hear seven sounds. Play the video but do not let students see the screen. Ask students to identify and write down all the sounds they hear in the correct order.
- Let students hear the clip a few more time before going over the answers (Playing with a squeaky toy; Typing a letter; Playing the congas; Playing table tennis; Sharpening a knife; Scratching (the decks); Sawing a woman in half)
- Tell students that all of the sounds are being made by the same individual. Ask them to guess what he or she looks like.
- Play the clip and this time let students see the video as well.
Note that this is a subjective activity. Decisions are open to debate and may give rise to emergent language. The activity can work best if you put students into pairs or small groups to discuss their ideas and come to consensus decisions.
There are actually two adverts in the Every sound tells a story series. The second ad uses the same format: A repeated movement (in this case a jumping frog) accompanied by a series of different sounds.
Warning: This advert contains a rude part!
As a follow up activity, the frog advert could be used in reverse: Tell students to put themselves in the position of the people who created the advert. Play the entire video with the sound down. Ask students to think of as many different sounds as possible to accompany the jumping frog and writes these on the board. Finally play the advert with the sound up so that students can hear the sounds that the advertisers chose. Note that you may want to stop the clip before the sixth sound which is the rude one.