Fun Video Project! Produce a TV Commercial for an Invention

In a previous post I outlined my 6 step process for implementing digital projects (1. Evaluate an example, 2. Assign the mission, 3. Students carryout the mission, 4. Peer edit, 5. Share the mission, and 6. Feedback/evaluation). In upcoming posts I will be sharing some of my student projects to give you ideas for the upcoming year. In the following project students produce a TV commercial marketing their inventions. Students don’t actually create an invention, instead they  come up with ideas to enhance a current invention to make their lives easier (the mission).

If you like these ideas, take one of my courses or check out one of my books. Ask me about training your teachers,!

Project Overview

Mission– Improve a tool or invention you currently use to make people’s lives easier then produce a short television commercial selling your product to  your intended audience.

  • Students evaluate commercials and write down the elements and language they observe as well as techniques they notice for persuading an audience to buy the product.
  • Ideally, students should come up with a list of criteria that makes a compelling television commercial. Then turn a version of this list into a rubric for students to evaluate their peers’ video commercials and for you to evaluate their projects. Students might consider the following:
    • Invention- Who is the audience that would find this invention useful? How does the invention improve lives? How user-friendly is the invention? How useful/innovative is the invention? How does it make life easier?
    • Marketing-Does the commercial clearly and concisely describe the invention? How? How does the commercial try to persuade the audience to purchase the invention? Is a story tied to marketing the product? Does the language and other elements appeal to the intended audience?
    • Production- Do the visuals, dialogue, music, effects, and production appeal to the intended audience and help sell the invention or are they unrelated or unclear in anyway? Is the font readable?
  • Students complete this storyboard template describing the invention and planning their commercials. Feel free to copy the template and edit as you like!
  • Students are provided with a list of free video recording and editing tools (, PowtoonKapwingWideoWeVideoTouch CastMy Simple Show, iMovie, and Windows Movie Maker), but they are free to use any video recorder and editor.
  • Find more tips and resources for student video projects here.
  • Find out more about mission minded learning in my book, Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions.

Student Storyboards

Students are allowed to draw or use copyright-friendly images in their storyboards. Find a list of public domain and creative common image websites here.


Student TV Commercials

Below are examples of my students’ commercials using different web tools.

The Smartie Pen (iMovie/Vimeo)

The Smartie Pen -Video commericial project from Esther Seo on Vimeo.


Cinco Cup of Coffee (Powtoon)

The Magiquill Pen (PowerDirector)

The Book That Reads You (Animoto)

Challenge: Get students to storyboard and produce a video commercial.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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