Now that it's back to school – here's a topical Reflective Reading lesson to get you started. Based on the Channel 4 advert 'We are the Superhumans' for the Paralympics, it is rich in issues ripe for discussion. Thank you so much to Mr Mark Grant from Aberdeen for sending it in for everyone to share – you are a star! 😀

We’re the Superhumans

Channel 4 Paralympics Advert


Original Version

BSL and subtitled version


Print the PDF of the lesson and questions here


I haven’t written this up as a task map as it was very much pupil led as to where the discussion and questioning went, so I have listed below the questions/tasks that I had prepared and also some other information about where the pupil’s took the lesson to with their thoughts and questions.  Some of it was quite difficult and allowed for sharing of opinions, some of which were not quite PC due to pupil’s lack of life experience. This was with a P6/7 class and I wanted to use the task map question types but with a bit more control as I wasn’t sure how my new pupils would respond to the video but they were impressed with the advert (mainly the violence of the wheelchair basketball!), mature in their discussions and contributed very well. 


Pupils worked in co-operative groups and shared their thoughts/answers with the class and also some discussion around the class to develop ideas or to agree/disagree on a point. 


What is this advertising? How do you know? – Channel 4 advert for Paralympic coverage, a lot of pupils missed the point that it was encouraging you to watch their channel.


How have they grabbed the viewer’s attention and does it work? – discussed humour of the BSL signer to lighten a serious advert, the upbeat music and lots of short clips used.


What messages are there in this advert? – Lots of ideas from the class around achieving, working hard, enjoying life, overcoming personal challenges, stick at it etc.


Create two lists – one of the sporting achievements shown in the advert and one of the life achievements.  Why do you think non-sporting achievements were included in a sporting advert? – suggestions around achieving in sport and in life, everything can be a challenge, most viewers wouldn’t be athletes so making it like their own lives, personal challenges not always big sporting ones.


The clip of the boy in the careers office, what do you think the man is saying the boy cannot do? Do you think the boy achieved this? Why do you think the man said, ’No you can’t’. What do you think of the man’s opinion?


The advert is called ‘We’re the Superhumans’.  Why do you think they chose this title? Was it a good choice?


The BSL signer at the end of the advert. Where do you think he going, what will he be doing?


Create your own success pose (along the lines of Usain Bolt’s) and ask a buddy to photograph it.  Edited on software to convert to black and white and text added with own negative and positive statement like in the song, for example ‘No I can’t become Yes I Can’.


It takes a lot of work to prepare for the Olympics/Paralympics, what skills do they need?  Collect WOW words – perseverance, stickability, positivity etc.  Words decorated and added to wall display to become growth mindset/skills for life display.


Pupils watched the advert again to listen to song lyrics – what was hard according to the song and two examples of things that can be done in the lyrics.  Difficult because of the other sounds from the advert and watching the image at the same time – watched subtitled version to see if easier and discussed why they are added and who for.


Blind football section – why are all the players blindfolded? – pupils discussed around different levels of blindness and making it fair for all the players.  This also led to discussion around how/why people may be disabled and how they have become disabled.  Also they noticed the use of the bell in the ball. We had a big discussion on the term disabled – prefix meaning and root word and whether or not they felt it was a suitable word.  Some came up with the idea it is not as the people in the advert were most definitely not ‘not able’ but in fact very able, although they may have different challenges from other people, in fact everyone has challenges.


Creating their own posters to encourage them when things may get difficult over the year – looked at Nike ‘just do it’ and some motivational poster such as ‘Aim High’.


Discussed watching the Olympics and no one had previously mentioned the Paralympics but now looking at watching and following it once it starts.


We now are not having success criteria this term but are using ‘Yes I Can …’s instead!


By Mark Grant

(Lots of Mark's other Reflective Reading resources and Task Maps can be found in The Teaching Trunk)


‘We’re the Superhumans’ Channel 4 Paralympics Advert Reading Lesson

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