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February 6, 2012

Last year on this day, I taught a super fun lesson about superlatives and the Super Bowl. (Ugh. You know when you write a word out too many times and it starts looking totally weird? Super just became a weird word for me.) Before class began, I downloaded all of the fun (and appropriate: no "Go Daddy" commercials) Super Bowl commercials that I could remember using the Easy YouTube Downloader add-on for Firefox (you can download the add-on under the 'Tools' menu in Firefox). When class began, I asked students what their favorite Super Bowl commercials were. Then, I introduced (re-introduced, for some) the term "the best commercial" (el mejor anuncio) and the term "better than" (mejor que), and we talked about the two different uses of the word. If your students are already very comfortable with those terms, this lesson also works most excellently with ordinal numbers and demonstrative adjectives and pronouns. If you are teaching an advanced class, this is a great way to have a discussion about marketing and media literacy! What strategies are the makers of each commercial using? How are they trying to appeal to you? Are they effective? For my lesson, I asked the students what the best Super Bowl commercial was, in their opinion. I took a request, we discussed the commercial: whether or not it was funny and why or why not. Then, I took another request. (Most of the time, I had already downloaded the commercials...if not, I streamed them live in class with my firewall override account and then downloaded them before my other classes began.) After we watched and discussed the second commercial, we began comparing the two, and then after awhile added a third commercial into the discussion, then a fourth, then a fifth, etc. Here are some discussion questions that you could use:

  • Which commercial is the best? (¿Cuál es el mejor anuncio?)
  • Is the first commercial better than the second? (¿El primer anuncio es mejor que el segundo? o ¿El segundo anuncio es mejor que el primero?)
  • Is this commercial more funny or less funny than the third one? (¿Este anuncio es más cómico o menos cómico que el tercero?)
  • Is this commercial funny or sweet? ¿Este anuncio es cómico o dulce? (o triste, etc.)
  • ¿Quieres comprar este producto después de ver el anuncio? (Do you want to buy this product after seeing the commercial?)

Unfortunately for all of us, the commercials yesterday were LAME!! Am I right?? For once, though, I didn't mind because we once again had a vested interest in the game--the NY Giants!


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