How I Use Commercials During Speech Sessions

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Are your students just not motivated by reading comprehension activities but you feel stuck because they have comprehension goals?

I love using non-text resources to work on comprehension goals. It helps take that reading overwhelm out of the picture for my students. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of avoidant and struggling readers on my caseload and for them reading is not fun and they have some negative feelings about it. There are so many pieces to the puzzle as to why our students are struggling with all those different comprehension goals that are tied to the curriculum but we need to teach them in a different way. We want our students to take risks and try some difficult things and we are working with them so I like to mix it up and use non-text resources to work on things like higher-level thinking skills, vocabulary, listening comprehension and organizational language.

I always like to start and sprinkle throughout my lessons non-text resources like videos and especially commercials! I am sure I’m not the only one whose students have trouble reading between the lines, right!?

One of my favorite commercials to use in the speech room is the Doritos commercial from the super bowl where the dog pays a bribe with Doritos. As we watch, I pause it to ask questions like what is going on here, what is missing, what is the man looking for. Students may miss out on the body language, the look in the man’s eyes and the confusion on his face. So I like to ask questions like why do you think the dog gave that man the bag of Doritos and what part does the dog have in the missing cat?

Most of my students missed out on the fact that there was even a cat missing. They miss out on whose cat it was and what the significance of the Doritos was. When we do commercial activities, I show the videos many times so that my students can pick up on the details and I ask questions along the way to get them thinking.

You can find this commercial and many more of my favorites to use during speech in my blog post “Work on Inferencing using Commercials”. In the blog post, you can also find questions to ask before, during, and after the commercials. These commercials are great for working on things like details, background knowledge, humor, body language, vocabulary and lots of higher-level questions. And best of all, students love using commercials! They are fun, engaging and most students don’t even realize that they are working on their skills.

I’d love to know if you guys try out commercials in your speech room and what your students think of it. Also, if you have any commercials that you like to use that I don’t mention in my blog, be sure to tell me about them and we can do a blog post part 2 with all the other great commercials you guys find.

Want to learn more? Check out the video and resources I mentioned for engaging, no-prep activities to use with your students this week!

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