Serendipitous critiquing in a PE lesson

NSW DET Drug Prevention Programs / ANYPT


A larger than normal group of kids not changed for practical lessons required a plan to keep them occupied on meaningful work. It ended up being a great discussion lesson, using technology to make it engaging, instant and stimulating.

Off to a room we went, me carrying a laptop and a copy of the Critics Choice resource, available to all NSW DET schools. The Critics Choice is a series of TV ads designed to stimulate thought on being a non smoker, or not being a smoker at all. Ads from around the world are critiqued by students on their effectiveness in making people think about the consequences of smoking. Up to 24th September 2010, the students could have submitted their critiques for a chance to win a competition.

In this lesson, I played the ads on the IWB at the front of the room. I used Excel to create a simple table to track the votes for each ad. While the DVD played, each student rated and voted with on how effective the ads were, as they saw them. A student team counted the votes, and collated them on the spreadsheet. They then created charts that graphically reflected the views of the students.

All the while, the students were critiquing and questioning what they saw, why the ads used the various techniques, the effectiveness of these techniques as well as beginning to formulate ideas on why people were affected by certain forms of images rather than others.

For the record, the Yr 10 students believed that ads highlighting  personal consequences (lung cancer, tracheotomy etc) had a stronger effect than ads trying to use reason. One comment was “if that stuff happens to you, that’s worse that what happens to someone else”.

All this in a make up lesson for non participants.

How can you blend traditional forms of audio-visual presentations with analysis resulting in deeper understanding for students? Feel free to leave a comment.

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