Emily’s Oz: Catch the Vision

emilysozEvery once in a while I see a TV ad so creativity-focued I just can’t resist sharing. Not long ago I loved the General Electric ad on the care and feeding of an idea. Today, I loved Emily’s Oz. It would make a great lesson on perspective, visualization, or illustration. Watch and see.

Yes, it’s an ad. But it’s also an inspiration. And (sorry, Comcast), you don’t need to play the very end, where the advertising appears. This could be a good ten-minute lesson, just viewing the video and asking students what they think it suggests about imagination. Or it could form the basis of a lesson on writing and character development.

Consider the possible questions for discussion. How might we view the characters of Oz if we hadn’t seen the movie? What does the text define? What is left unsaid, to be defined only by the imagination? Is it more interesting to “see” the characters, or to imagine them ourselves? Emily’s lion is tiny. How does our understanding of the personality of characters affect the ways we envision them?

It could be a fascinating exercise to take a book without illustrations (or at least without illustrations the students can access), read minimal descriptions of the characters, and then have students create detailed descriptions and/or illustrations. Where are they similar? Where different? You could lead into discussion of the importance of descriptive language, or the delights of multiple points of view. Either way, Emily’s Oz can inspire you. If you’d like to learn more about Emily and the way this commercial came to be, see the Xfinity website. Watching Oz come to life is fascinating!

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