Here's an ad for the new MacBook Pro that would be great to use in class.
An ambitious new ad bridges humans' discovery of fire with space travel and smartphones using a classic symbol for the power of imagination—the light bulb. A string of hundreds of the round glass lanterns, set up in the middle of a city's empty streets, explode in sequence to the sound of Rossini's William Tell Overture, tying together a montage of inventions spanning from the Stone Age to the Information Age. There is the invention of the wheel, and writing, and the plow, and the bicycle, and the locomotive, and the flying machine, and the motorcycle, and eyeglasses, and binoculars, and the rotary phone, and the typewriter—and perhaps most important, toilet paper. There's also the microwave, the camera, the record player, the television, the jetpack, the freezer, the paper clip, the Tamagotchi, the video camera, the computer mouse, the zipper, the wind farm, the jet plane, the microscope, the robotic hand, the robotic dog, the rocket ship, the iPhone, the drone, the satellite, the robotic man—and back, somewhere deep in the cave, a brand new laptop from Apple. [Source: Adweek]
1. Tell the students they are going to watch an ad that shows many inventions and that they must try to remember as many as possible.
2. Play the ad up to 1m28s. Stop and ask the class what they think the ad is for. Then show the end.
3. Put the students into groups and get them to list as many of the inventions as possible. This is a kind of video version of Kim's game. You could even have a prize for the best team.
4. Go through the ad again, pausing to focus on the inventions and discussing vocabulary points (you have to be quick with the pause button!)
5. Now get the groups to choose their top five inventions and rank them in order of importance or usefulness. Alternatively, you could just get them to choose the Number One invention of all time.
6. You also have a look at TIME's 25 Best Inventions of 2016, which provides a lot of material for discussion.
7. Get students to come up with their own inventions and present to the class.
1. I'm sure there's a nod to (a young) Steve Jobs at 25s.
2. Strictly speaking, gravity is not an invention but a discovery.