Saturday, December 26

Imagine That: Non-Count Nouns Made Countables









A. Watch the movie segment. Then underline the non-count nouns in the sentences below. Next, use one of the the phrases below to make the non-count nouns you underlined countable.


a piece of

a grain of

a game of

a type (kind) of

a symbol of

an act of

an article of

a bolt (flash) of

a clap of

a drop of

a bowl of

a spoon of



1. They used flour to to make pancakes.


2. They melted butter to fry the pancake.



3. The dad showed that kindness can bring the family together.



4. He showed behavior that most parents don’t usually have with their children.



5. they prayed before the meal, which showed faith.



6. He threw the food away before eating it.



Possible Answers:

1. a bowl of flour
2. a spoon of butter
3. an act of kindness
4. a kind of behavior
5. a symbol (act) of faith
6. a piece of the food





Saturday, December 19

Night at the Museum - Battle of the Smithsonian: Past Continuous

This is a great scene. I like the movie because the idea of bringing historical characters back to life is sensational. This segment is perfect to practice the past continuous tense (or present continuous tense, if you prefer, with adaptations).



A. Talk to a partner:

1. Do you like museums? When did you last go to a museum? Which one was it?

2. What's your favorite kind of museum?

3. Why are museums important?

4. What's your opinion about museums? Are they boring or exciting? Explain it.



B. Watch the movie segment and write down what the people in New York City were doing to celebrate the Japanese surrender during World War II and in Central Park in the pictures below. Make sure you write different actions for each of the pictures.














An unnamed U.S. sailor boldly celebrates Japan's surrender with an unnamed, passing nurse, in Times Square, New York, August 15, 1945 - Alfred Eisenstadt, Life Magazine









1..................................................

2..................................................

3..................................................

4..................................................

5..................................................















Skating in Central Park
Agnes Tait




1.................................................

2.................................................

3.................................................


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Friday, December 11

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist: Should (Advice) x Should Have (Past Regrets)

This is an enjoyable movie. This scene shows a beautiful girl doing humiliating things because of the excess of drinking that night. It is great to have students practice giving advice and expressing past regrets, contrasting the use of SHOULD to give advice and in the past to express regrets. Remember that this topic may be sensitive. If you think it is inappropriate for your group of students or your culture, don't use it.


A. Talk to a partner. Discuss the following questions:

1 - Are alcoholic beverages sold freely in your country? What are the regulations on the issue?

2 - What's your opinion about drinking and driving? What should the punishment be?

3 - When is it OK to drink alcoholic beverages?


B. Imagine the following situation.


Imagine that some foreign friends of yours are going out tonight in your city to celebrate a very special occasion. Unfortunately, you have an appointment and you can't go with them. They want do have fun, drink, eat something nice, and meet some interesting girls (guys). Which place would you choose and why?



C. Write down 6 pieces of advice to your friends to enjoy the night in your city safely. Use affirmative and negative statements with SHOULD (NOT).


(AFF)

1 - ............................................


2 - .............................................


3 - .............................................



(NEG)


4 - ..............................................


5 - ..............................................


6 - ..............................................



D. Watch the segment now. Imagine the main character, the drunk girl, was with your group of friends. She drank too much and is extremely inappropriate.





E. Make a list of 5 things she should not have done:

1 - .........................................


2 - .........................................


3 - .........................................


4 - .........................................


5 - .........................................



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Saturday, December 5

Shallow Hal: 2nd Conditional

This scene is great because it's unique. Jack Black's character sees his beloved extremely fit and gorgeous, but he doesn't know she is actually a very fat girl. Despite the prejudice, he eventually falls in love with her because of her inner beauty. This scene is perfect for the students to practice the 2nd conditional, imagining the characters seeing the true picture of the events. Here's the lesson plan:











Gwenyth Paltrow plays the love interest of Hal (Jack Black) in this comedy about a shallow man who falls in love with a very fat (but inwardly beautiful woman), because he is hypnotized into believing she is outwardly beautiful.

. Hal's imaginary Rosie and Real Rosie.



A. Watch the segment and check the items of what happened in the video but would definitely be different if rosie were actually as thin as Hal’s imaginary Rosie.


1. Hal told her a bad taste joke about the underwear she was buying.

2. Rosie didn’t understand Hal’s jokes.

3. He had to apologize for his jokes.

4. She ordered a huge meal.

5. The waiter wasn’t surprised by the order

6. The chair broke.

7. Two guys made fun of Rosie’s takeout meal.

8. They didn’t envy Hal’s bragging about his girlfriend.


B. Now rewrite the sentences above using the second conditional. You may use WOULD – if you’re sure - MIGHT, COULD – if you are not 100 % sure.



If Rosie _________________ (be) as thin as Hal’s imaginary Rosie,



1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Teacher’s Key
B. If Rosie were as thin as Hals imaginary Rosie,


1. Hal wouldn’t tell…
2. She would understand…
3. He wouldn’t have to…
4. She wouldn’t (might not) order…
5. The waiter wouldn’t (mightn’t) be ….
6. The chair wouldn’t break
7. The guys wouldn’t (mightn’t) make…
8. They would envy…


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Saturday, November 28

Falling Down: Past Perfect - By the Time...

This movie is about an ordinary man who reacts very aggressively to everyday stressing situations we all face in our routines. Because many things happen before the end of the scene. I prepared an activity in which the students will write down sentences in the past perfect tense after or before expression with BY THE TIME...





A. Talk to a partner:





1 - What kind of customer are you? Do you complain when the service is poor or do you prefer to remain quiet and forget it?





2 - Tell your partner about a situation in which you had to be firm to grant your rights as a consumer.





3 - What's your opinion about the service provided to the citizens in your country (town)?





4 - Is it worth complaining? Justify it.







B. Watch the movie segment and check the items of what had happened by the time he asked the hostages in the resaturant a question about the sandwich quality (the end of the scene).





( ) 1. The restaurant stopped serving breakfast.



( ) 2. Sheila called the manager to solve the situation.



( ) 3. The main character told everyone to sit down.



( ) 4. He accidentally shot the roof.



( ) 5. The manager decided to serve breakfast.



( ) 6. He changed his mind and ordered lunch.



( ) 7. One of the customers vomited her sandwhich.



( ) 8. He complained about the sandwich he ordered.



( ) 9. He apologized to the manager.



( ) 10. The police arrived.









C. Rewrite the sentences above with the correct verb tense. Complete the first sentence and rewrite the other ones, according to the segment.





By the time he ___________ the hostages a question about the quality of the sandwich,



1.........................................................



2........................................................



3........................................................



4........................................................



5........................................................



6........................................................



7........................................................



8........................................................



9........................................................



10......................................................







Answer Key:



B. All the items should be checked, except #10.





C.

1. The restaurant had stopped...

2. Sheila had called...

3. He had told...

4. He had accidentally shot...

5. The manager had decided...

6. He had managed...

7. One of the customers had vomited...

8. He had complained...

9. He had apologized...

10. The police hadn't arrived...







How to prepare your own video activity:













- Select a scene in which several a/completed ctions take place by the time something happens.







- List the actions that took place before the final moment.







- Have students write sentences about the actions using the past perfect and by the time... the final action takes place.



WORKSHEET





Saturday, November 21

The Hitcher: Modal Verb SHOULD - Advice

This movie is a classic that has changed many people's opinions about giving rides to strangers on roads. I took advantage of the opening scene to have student practice modal verbs for advice - SHOULD - OUGHT TO.




Before watching the segment:


A. Talk to a partner. Make a list of what drivers should and should not do when they travel by car alone during the night.


What drivers should (ought to) do:
1 - ........................................................
2 - ........................................................
3 - ........................................................
4 - ........................................................


What drivers shouldn't (oughtn't to) do:
1 - .........................................................
2 - ........................................................
3 - ........................................................
4 - ........................................................


B. Watch the segment now. Check which of the pieces of advice you came up with in exercise A the main character of the movie did not follow.


C. Talk to a partner. For your information, the driver will manage to escape. Come up with the conclusion of the scene knowing that the hitcher won't achieve his goal, which was to kill the driver. Be creative; use your imagination.


D. Share your stories with the whole class and choose the most creative one.


WORKSHEET




How to develop your own video activity.

- Select a scene in which the characters disobey the law or do things they will regret.
- Ask students to give pieces of advice for one to follow in such situations.
- Play the scene you had selected.
- Have students check which pieces of advice were not followed by the characters.

Saturday, November 14

Love Actually: Reported x Direct Speech

This is a very romantic scene. For this segment, I decided to work on reported speech differently from the previous exercises. Here the students have to rewrite the indirect sentences in direct speech.

Talk to a partner:

1. Are you a romantic person? Do you like romantic lovers? Why?

2. What kind of things does a romantic person do? Make a list of at least five different things.

3. What was the most romantic scene someone has ever done for you? Describe it.


B. Read the sentences below. They are indirect speech. Rewrite them using direct speech, supposing the guy in the movie segment is talking directly to the girl he loves.





1. He told her to say it was Carols Singers.

.............................................


2. He said he would be going out with one of those girls.

.............................................


3. He said that she was perfect to him.

.............................................

4. He said that his wasted heart would love her until she looked like that.

............................................



5. He wished her Merry Christmas.


............................................








C. Talk to a partner:


1. What is your opinion about this scene? Is it romantic or tacky?

2. Would you like your sweetheart to be more or less romantic? Why?

3. What do you consider important in a relationship? Rank the five most important things for a romance to work out.


4. Share your list with he rest of the class. Which one was the most voted?


Answer Key:
B.
1. Say it’s Carol Singers.
2. I will be going out with one of these girls.
3. You are perfect to me.
4. My wasted heart will love you until you look like this.
5. Merry Christmas!







WORKSHEET




Sunday, November 8

Yes Man: Short Answers

This is a great scene because it shows how motivational seminars can be ridiculous. I chose this scene to practice a very simple grammar point - providing short answers. In this case, with the simple present and simple past tenses, can and there to be. Basic learners might not understand everything said in the segment, but I'm sure they will manage to answer all the proposed questions.





Watch the movie segment and ask a friend the following questions. Take turns asking the questions. Answer them with short answers:



1) Do all participants have a red bag?

........................................


2) Is Carl excited about the seminar?

........................................


3) Is Terrence the presenter?

.......................................


4) Does the word YES control the external side of people, according to Terrence?

.......................................


5) Did Terrence invite YES into the participants' lives?

.......................................


6) Did Carl believe the YES story in the beginning of the scene?

.......................................


7) Is there anyone new to the seminar?

.....................................


8) Can people say the word NO in the seminar?

.....................................


9) Can people say YES in the seminar?

....................................


10) Does Carl say NO to life?

...................................



11) Is Carl comfortable during the scene?

..................................


12) Does Carl have a girlfriend?

..................................


13) Did Carl lose the love of his life?

..................................


14) Did Carl accept the challenge?

..................................


15) Are the participants happy about Carl's final decision?

................................


16) Do you believe in Terrence's ideas?

...............................



B. Write down 3 questions about the segment and ask them to a partner. Make sure you write yes/no questions.

1 ................................................... ?
2 ................................................... ?
3 ................................................... ?

Answer Key:





A.

1. Yes, they do.
2. No, he isn't.
3. Yes, he is.
4. Yes, it does.
5. Yes, he did.
6. No he didn't.
7. Yes, there is.
8. No, they can't.
9. Yes, they can.
10. Yes, he does.
11. No, he isn't.
12. No, he doesn't.
13. Yes, he did.
14. Yes, he did.
15. Yes, they are.
16. Answers will vary.



How to develop your own video segment.

- Choose an attractive scene in which several things can be observed.
- Prepare some yes/no questions about the segment.
- Have students take turns asking each other the questions.
- Ask students to write down 4 different yes/no questions about the segment.
- Students ask and answer each other questions.

WORKSHEET





Friday, November 6

Interview

I have given an interview that has been published on a peer's (Vanessa Prata's) very intereresting blog, about using movie segments in the classroom. You may check it out here. Thanks Vanessa. Your blog, English for All, is great for teachers. Congratulations.

Saturday, October 31

The Happening: Modals for Speculation Might, Could.




Most reviewers criticized this movie, but I am a fan of Shayamalan, the director. All of his films have provided me with very interesting activities because the stories are very creative. I used this scene to practice modals for speculation - possibility.

A. Read the latest news in today's newspaper:

The Honeybees Disappearance:

Apparently, honeybees are disappearing all over the country. Tens of millions of them. Just disappearing. There are no bodies, no sign of them. They're just mysteriously gone.

B. Talk to a partner and come up with at least two different theories about why this might be happening. Be as creative as possible. Use modals for speculation (might, could, must ) to construct your theory.

C. Share your ideas with the whole class. Make sure you use modals for speculation while reporting your theory.

D. Each student votes for the following theories.


1. The most plausible one

2. The most farfetched one

3. The most creative one


E. Count all the votes and check what the class's opinion is.


F. Now watch the movie segment and check whether your ideas and the characters' theories matched.


G. What are the characters' theories? Write them using modals for speculation.

1. ......................................................

2. .....................................................

3. ...................................................

4. ...................................................

5. ....................................................

WORKSHEET

Answer Key

Ex: G

1. It might be a disease.

2. It could be a virus or infection.

3. It might be pollution.

4. It could be global warming

5. It might be an act of nature we will never fully understand.

Saturday, October 24

Unbreakable: Present Perfect (with Just)

This movie is not one I would strongly recommend, but it has good moments. This scene is one of them. David's, Bruce Willis's character, touching passers-by make him see what they have just done minutes before that, which is perfect for the students to practice the present perfect tense, using - just - in their sentences. In this exercise they are to write down whole sentences, which makes it more challenging than the other ones I have published on this grammar goal. I hope you like it.





A. Talk to a partner: Decide what the best punishment for the following crimes is. You and your partner have to reach an agreement of what the sentence is, how much time in jail (if it is the case) should the outlaw spend, or how much the fine fine should cost:


1. Stealing jewelry from a store.

2. Showing racial prejudice in the public eye by calling someone names.

3. Hitting someone with a glass bottle.

4. Stealing candy from a child.

5. Kidnapping without killing the victim.

6. Kidnapping and killing the victim.

7. Taking advantage of a drunk person.

8. Breaking into a house and stealing goods.

9. Breaking into a house and murdering someone there.

10. Drinking and driving.



B. Class discussion: Compare your punishments. Who are the toughest and the most lenient students?






C. Watch the following segment. Bruce Willis's character has the power to see what some people have done minutes before just by touching them. Decide which of the crimes above the characters below have just commited. Write the number of the crime next to the character.






( ) The lady in red

( ) The man in yellow

( ) The man in green

( ) The man in orange




D. Now write sentences saying what these people have just done before arriving at the subway station. Make sure you use "just" in your sentences and the present perfect tense.






1. ...........................................................



2. ..........................................................



3. .......................................................



4. ......................................................



E. Talk to a partner about the following questions.

1. What do you think will happen next?

2. Would you like to have this super power? Is this gift really possible?

3. Are there people with this ability?

4. Rank the crimes the people in exercise C have committed - 1 as the most serious and 4 as the least serious one.




WORKSHEET

Answer key:

C.
1
3
7
9




D.
The woman in red has just stolen jewelry from a store.

The man in yellow has just broken a bottle on a passer-by.

The man in green has taken advantage of a drunk woman.

The man in orange has just broken into a house and murdered someone there.





Sunday, October 18

Sleuth: Imperative Forms

This is a great movie with excellent actors. The scene shows one character giving his partner instructions on how to break into his house in order to simulate a robbery. It is perfect for the students to pratice imperative forms, giving instructions. The correct matching is in the order presented in the exercise, so you should mix sentences up when you prepare your own exercise sheet.

A. Talk to a partner and match the verb and the complement. There are many possible combinations.

1 obey
2 go and get
3 place
4 extend
5 climb up
6 keep
7 keep
8 watch
9 keep
10 don’t look

11 smash


( ) the rules
( ) the ladder
( ) the ladder against the wall
( ) the ladder
( ) the ladder
( ) calm
( ) coming
( ) your step
( ) going
( ) down
( ) the window


B. Watch the movie segment and check the matching according to what you see.


C. Now imagine you have to give instructions to your partner. You have to tell him or her how to get your bedroom and get your favorite CD or DVD. Remember: your partner does not know your house and you have to be very clear about them. Give him your house keys and start giving the instructions. Use IMPERATIVE FORMS.


D. Switch roles.


WORKSHEET




Saturday, October 10

Leap of Faith: Modal for Advice - Should

This is Steve Martin's best movie, in my opinion. He plays the role of a hoax preacher who makes money out of people's beliefs. I used it to practice giving advice with should. The matching answers have the same color to facilitate your planning.





A. Watch the movie segment and match the people in the audience and their problems.


The audience:


1. The man in the brown jacket
2. The girl in the glitter jeans
3. The guy in the fishing cap.
4. The lady in the pink dress.
5. The man in the white shirt.
6. The man in the yellow shirt
7. The blue-haired lady
8. Emma Schlarp


The problems:


( ) Her mother is suffering deeply because she is pregnant.
( ) He has a back problem.
( ) He has a hearing problem.
( ) She lost her job.
( ) He has a problem with his neighbor
( ) He has a gambling problem.
( ) She has bone trouble.
( ) She has arthritis.



B. Write down a piece of advice for each of the people above.


1. The man in the brown jacket

..................................................................................................................


2. The girl in the glitter jeans

..................................................................................................................


3. The guy in the fishing cap.

...................................................................................................................


4. The lady in the pink dress.

...................................................................................................................


5. The man in the white shirt.

....................................................................................................................


6. The man in the yellow shirt

....................................................................................................................


7. The blue-haired lady

....................................................................................................................


8. Emma Schlarp

.....................................................................................................................



C. Is your advice the same as the hoax preacher in the segment? Talk to a partner and decide whose advice is closer to the movie preacher's.



D. Talk to a partner.



1. Is this hoax preacher committing a crime? Explain it.

2. What should happen to people who cheat on people exploiting their religious beliefs?

3. Is he helping or harming these people? Explain it.


WORKSHEET



Saturday, October 3

Little Miss Sunshine: Tag Questions

This is a lovely scene from this wonderful film. I love the acting and the intelligent story. This scene is remarkable. I took advantage of the scene to practice asking tag questions. With this activity, the students can practice the grammar point based on contextualized evidence, which is great. I only used sentences in the past tense, though.



A. Talk to a partner

1. Have you ever participated in a pageant? Talk about it. What is your opinion about beauty pageants?

2. Is it OK for young children to participate in pageants?

3. What's your opinion about pageants like Miss Brazil, Miss Universe, Model of the Year, etc?


B. Watch the segment, fill in the blanks with affirmative and negative forms of the given verbs, and complete the sentences with a tag question. Make sure the sentences are according to the information presented in the segment.


1 - Olive .................................. (be) wearing a suit, a hat and a tie, .................. ?

2 – She ……….…………. (dedicate) her presentation to her grandfather, ....................?

3 – Olive …………………. (be) intimidated by the audience, ...............?

4 – The audience …………… (be) shocked with Olive’s sexy dancing, .................?

5 – Many spectators …………….. (leave) the hall during her presentation, ................?

6 – The dance ………………. (be) appropriate for the situation, .................. ?

7 – Her family ……………………. (support) Olive by dancing with her, ...................?

8 – The host …………………. (try) to remove her from the stage, ...................... ?

9 – Her father …………………… (dance) with her on the stage, ................ ?

10 – The DJ …………….. (be) the only person to clap the presentation, ................... ?

11 – Nobody …………………. (like) the presentation, .............?

12 – They ………………………… (be) ashamed of Olive, ..........?




B. Now ask a partner the questions above. Mind intonation.



WORKSHEET

Answer Key:

1. was - wasn't she?
2. dedicated - didn't she?
3. wasn't - was she?
4. was - wasn't it?
5. left - didn't they?
6. wasn't - was it?
7. supported - didn't they?
8. tried - didn't he?
9. danced - didn't he?
10. was - wasn't he?
11. liked - did they?
12. weren't - were they?

How to prepare your own video activity.

- Select a scene and write sentences for the students to complete with the main verb form of the provided verbs (choose the tenses you wish to assess)

- Students fill in the blanks with affirmative or negative forms of the verbs, according to the information in the segment.

- The students write the correct tag questions for the sentences.

- The students read their sentences to a partner, asking the tag questions.

- Make sure students use rising and falling intonation patterns.





Saturday, September 26

Swingers: 2nd Conditional

This is a fantastic scene. It is funny and pathetic. The development of the scene is unpredictable and students will certainly laugh a lot.
Before Viewing:
Imagine the following situation:

You meet a very interesting girl (guy) and talk to her (him) very briefly. You are very interested in each other. She (He) is attractive and looks very friendly. She (He) is in a hurry and has to leave, but she (he) gives you her (his) phone number. You don’t have the chance to give her (him) yours, though.


A. Now choose the best alternative about you. How would you react in the following situations?


1. What would you do if the situation you have just read were real?

a. call her (him) as soon as possible
b. wait a few days and then call her (him)
c. wait for another opportunity to meet her (him) at the same place again
d. none of the above: justify it

2. Imagine you called her (him) and the answering machine answered the call. What would you do?

a. hang up the phone
b.identify yourself and call again later
c.identify yourself, leave your phone number and wait for her (him) to call
d. none of the above: justify it

3. What would you do if the answering machine disconnected before you finished saying what you had planned to say?

a. call back and complete the message
b. wait for her (him) to call back
c. wait a little and call back again
d. none of the above: justify it

4. How many times would you call her (him) again if she didn’t return the call?

a. once
b. twice
c. as many as necessary
d. none


B. watch the video segment and check if the main character would do the same as you.


C. rewrite the four items above using the 2nd conditional about yourself.


EX:

1 – If the situation …………………….., I ………………………………………........

2. ………………………………………………………………………………………….........

3 …………………………………………………………………………………………..........

4……………………………………………………………………………………………........



WORKSHEET



Sunday, September 20

300: Passive Voice


This is a great movie. The visual effects and colors are unusually gripping. It is one of my favorite epic movies ever. The first scene is excellent for passive voice practice since the narrator uses the target struture to explain Leonidas's journey to become a Spartan king. I'm sure your students will enjoy the scene and use the passive voice in the simple past tense in a contextualized manner.


A. Talk to a partner about the following questions:

1. In a few cultures, couples are allowed to have only one child. Do you think it’s fair? Justify your answer.

2. If you could have only one child, would you still have the baby knowing he/she would be sick forever? Explain.

3. Is it possible to train someone to be a king or a hero? Justify your answer.

4. In ancient Greece, Spartans used to reject and kill all the handicapped children? The whole population consisted of healthy, strong people. What’s your opinion about it?


B. Before you view the segment, rewrite the following sentences using passive voice.

1. Spartans inspected the boy when he was born.

2. Spartans would have discarded him if he were too small or misshapen.

3. Spartans baptized him in the fire of combat.

4. They taught him not to retreat or surrender.

5. They taught him that death in the battlefield was the greatest glory.

6. Spartans took him from his mother and plunged him into a world of violence.

7. They called it the agoge.

8. Rod and lash punished the boy.

9. They taught the boy to show no pain or mercy

C. Watch the movie segment and check your answers.

WORKSHEET

Answer Key

B.

1. The boy was inspected when he was born.

2. He would have been discarded if…

3. He was baptized in …

4. He was taught not to…

5. He was taught that…

6. he was taken from… and plunged into…

7. It was called the agoge.

8. The boy was punished by the rod and lash.

9. He was taught to …


Sunday, September 13

Big Fish: Past Continuous x Simple Past

This is my favorite Tim Burton's movie. I love him as a director and most of his movies are full of resources for movie activities. Big Fish is full of them. This scene is perfect for the students to practice the past continuous and simple past tenses.



I. Watch the movie segment and write down 3 activities people were doing when time stopped.


Ex: A little boy was drinking soda.


1 ......................................................

2 .....................................................

3 ....................................................



II. Now write down 3 things that happened when time moved too fast to catch up while he was in the circus.

Ex:

The girl he fell in love with left without talking to him.

1 ...................................................................

2 ..................................................................

3 ..................................................................


WORKSHEET