Tourism Commercials – ELL Lesson

Exotic destinations, great activities, and even celebrities, this simple two part group ELL lesson plan has it all!  (Scroll to the bottom to see more of my students amazing creations like “Feel New York” above)

The lesson is a variation on the classic “tourism brochure” lesson, a fun project to teach students geography terms and vacation activities vocabulary/grammar. I took three 45 minute class periods to do the entire activity, giving my students a day in the computer lab to work on it together. My goal was to go beyond the simple “go to the beach, go sunbathing, go surfing, etc.” and get them to use advanced adjectives and to try and experiment with verbal metaphors and maybe even clever word play.

The lesson designed here is for an Intermediate to Advanced level class, but it is easily adjustable depending on skill level (I used this lesson for Cambridge First Certificate students). It is also expandable depending on how long you want to make it or any grammar/vocabulary/marketing constructions you wish to add to it.

For my purposes I focused on advanced adjectives, phrasal Verbs, and clever slogans as the primary criteria. I find students at this level to understand the literal meanings of most words but still miss many figurative meanings. I included phrasal verbs because they are so common in good advertisements.  Everything is contained in the powerpoint, which you can download and edit freely here. 

Start by brainstorming about vacation destinations. Next move on to the powerpoint and show the first video. Ask the students to observe the language used in the commercial and try to write down any specific phrases they heard (for lower level classes you could show it twice).  After the video I asked students about all the activities that they saw, (for extra practice you could ask students to describe what they saw) then I moved on to the language that I had them write down.  Finally we talked about the slogan. Why does it work for Egypt?

Next I showed the South Africa video and repeated the process; activities first, and then language.

Then, I showed the California video and reiterated that I wished them to pay particular attention to the words in the video. Students had many questions after watching the video once.  I asked for any terms they wrote down (e.g. “board meeting, production, when can you start?” and corrected them. Then I showed the video again before we talked about some of the word play in the video.  Students enjoyed seeing the celebrities and trying to figure the language out.

Here is the rubric I created for the project. It is a little tongue and cheek but I am trying to get these kids feeling creative, hence my language choices.  (You can edit the rubric on the powerpoint).

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 2.56.16 PM

Some of My Student’s Projects!

Feel New York

I am incredibly proud of this group who really got into the project and did a simply phenomenal job. They each wrote a section and then put it together using imovie. They got the video clips from VidLib.  I have just downloaded the app and will be experimenting with it soon.

Finland, where magic’s not just a dream…

Who knew Santa Claus was in Finland?  This group also did a great job and I am very proud of them.

And here’s another one on New York. This group did a great oral presentation along with the video they made (which doesn’t have any English voiceovers they were a little shy).

And here is one I found from the web:

This Cebu, Phillipines is an optional video to show them a clever powerpoint variation on the tourism commercial. (I showed this to one particularly difficult class to give them an idea of the expectations, but ignored it for most classes).  There are lots more great commercial videos on youtube. If I had more time I might have divided the project into having the students explore and choose a video and analyze it then have them make their own, but we have lots of material to cover.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.