Using Commercials for Working on Inferencing

Working on Inferencing Using Commercials in Speech TherapyLooking for more ways to work on inferencing?  Use commercials!

My students love anything visual and anything that includes You Tube.  So if I am going to work on a tricky skill like inferencing, I am going to use what motivates them!

Why commercials?

They are quick, they are relevant, they include humor, and you can always stop at different points and ask questions, work on predicting, and even have students guess what the commercial is trying to sell.  Whether we like it or not, our students watch TV.  They are exposed to commercials.  There is a lot of untold messages, humor, and abstract language required in order to understand them.  Why not help our students understand information that is around them.  In fact, as of grade 3, the common core standards requires them to use “diverse media and formats.”  Don't believe me?!  Click HERE to see!

OK…so I gathered a few of my favorite commercials to use to work on inferencing and shared some of my favorite questions to ask!  You can easily stream from this blog post or just view later right on You Tube!  I tried to make it easy as possible to locate and use at a moment's notice!  Easy to prep…that is my jam!

Yellowbook Commercial Dog Eats Bird

What are some questions you can ask your students to elicit inferencing skills (remember some of these questions can be asked by pausing the commercial and then continuing):

    • Where do you THINK they are?
    • Why might there be animals in this commercial?
    • Why do you think everyone gasped?
    • What do you think happened to the bird?
    • What do you think the dog did?
    • What does this commercial have to do with Yellowbook?
  • What might have been the reason they were searching for “lawyer?”

This commercial also pulls in some background knowledge of phonebooks (clearly old school LOL) and going to the vet.

Doritos Super Bowl Commercial Dead Cat Bribe

What are some questions you can ask (again throughout and after):

    • What does the tone of the music tell us about the situation?
    • What do you think the man was looking for?
    • What might have happened to the cat?
  • What was probably the purpose of the bag of Doritos?

Chevy Happy Grad

What are some questions you can ask?

    • Who do you think blind folded him?
    • Why do you think they are wearing those clothes?
    • Why do you think the boy was confused?
    • What was probably his real gift?
    • What did he probably mean by “status update?”
    • How do you think he will feel when he finds out what his real gift is?
  • Why do you think his parents got him a refrigerator?

Dog strikes back / Volkswagen

Here are some questions to ask!

    • What does the change in the tone of the music probably indicate?
    • What do you think the dog was trying to do?
    • Why do you think the dog was trying to chase after the car?
  • Who do you think was probably in the car?

Darth Vader in Volkswagen

Here are questions you can ask:

    • Do you think it was a real Darth Vader?
    • What do you think Darth Vader is trying to do?
    • Was Darth Vader successful?
    • Why was Darth Vader surprised that the car turned on?
    • How do you know that Darth Vader believed he turned the car on?
  • What was probably the age of Darth Vader?

Some background knowledge needed for this commercial: Darth Vader!  But can they use clues to try to guess if they did not know such as the music and what the kid was trying to do throughout the commercial.

Sour Patch Kids Commercial – Scissors

Here are some questions to ask:

    • What do you think happened to the girl's hair?
    • Why do you think the girl forgave the sour patch kid?
    • What are the two meanings of the word sweet and sour?
  • What time of day do you think it is?

AT&T Network TV Commercial — Flash Mob

Excited at this point to see sample questions?

    • Where do you think they are?
    • Why do you think he is dancing?
    • Why are the other people probably staring at him?
    • Why do you think he stopped abruptly?
    • What do you think made the man look at his phone?
    • Who do you think he was talking to when he said “got it?”
  • What do you think the purpose of the commercial was?

You can also tap into background knowledge about New York City and flash mobs in this commercial!


Commercials from Super Bowl 2021?

Sample Questions:

  • How do you think he felt being flat?
  • Why do you think the football made him fly away?
  • Why do you think the girl at the coffee shop reacted the way she did when she saw him?
  • Why do you think the Doritos 3D did the trick?
  • What might have happened if he never ate those chips?

  • Why do you think everyone is using M&Ms to say they are sorry?
  • How do we know one more M&M will be eaten by Daniel Levy?
  • How do we know the M&Ms don't believe Daniel Levy?
  • How do you know that everyone is not really sorry in this commercial?

As you can see, there are TONS of ways to use commercials!  Do you see a pattern?  Many super bowl commercials are just great for working on inferencing!!  Do you see a pattern in the questions I wrote?  They all used inferencing vocabulary: think, probably, might, etc.  If you think of another commercial, please share!!  Comment below or email me!!  Want to read about my favorite inferencing tips and tricks?  Click HERE!  Want to see my inferencing TpT products?  Click HERE!

Want my free resource for teaching about the Super Bowl Commercials?!  It mimics the style and type of resource inside of SLP Elevate.

This resource is great for working on inferences, context clues, main idea, summarizing, and more!  Written at a 600-800 Lexile level (4-5th grade reading level but perfect for older students reading at that level!).  CLICK HERE to grab this freebie!