Saturday, February 28

I Am Legend: Future Perfect

This segment is excellent for the students to practice the future perfect tense. The segment is thought-provoking and chilling. The students have to use their imagination to predict the future.

Discuss the following questions with a partner:

1 - Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Justify your answer.

2 - Do you think mankind will ever discover a cure for cancer?

3 - Will human beings be free from diseases in the future? Why (not)?

4 - What would a city like New York look like if all of its inhabitants had to evacuate it in a hurry?

5 - What would you do if you and your best friend could be alone in New York for a week, without any other inhabitants around? Would you enjoy this experience? What would you do there?

Now imagine that NY City had to be completely evacuated because of a very destructive virus. Check what you believe would happen to NY if such situation did happen.

( ) The streets would become extremely filthy.

( ) People would abandon their cars everywhere.

( ) Wild animals would escape from the zoo to look for food around the city.

( ) Animals would take control of the city.

( ) Some people would hide in the buildings to steal stores and banks.

( ) Life in NY would become a complete chaos.

( ) Power would go off.

( ) People wouldn't drive their cars because of the lack of gas.

( ) Buildings would be destroyed by the angry population.

Now watch the movie segment and pretend you are the main character in the movie, the one played by Will Smith. Imagine that you could have warned Dr. Alice Krippin about the consequences of her unfortunate discovery. Tell her what will have happened to NY within three years from now (by the year 2012) if she tests her discovery on human beings.


By the year 2011, NY streets will have become completely filthy.

People will have abandoned their cars everywhere.

Wild animals will have escaped from the zoo to look for food around the city.

How to develop your own video activity

- Select a scene that takes place in the future, preferably with a pessimistic view of the future.

- Ask the students to observe the changes that will have taken place on Earth.

- The students write sentences with will + have + past participle.


Friday, February 20

Kangaroo Jack: Wish / If Only

This is a funny scene that takes place in Australia. My students had a great time watching it and doing the grammar exercises.

A. Talk to a partner about the following questions:

1 - What would you do if you ran over an animal in the middle of the road? Justify your answer.

2 - What do you know about Australia? Share what you know with your partner.

3 - Are you an adventurous person? Tell your partner about one great adventure of yours.

4 - Have you ever been to a safari? Would you like to go on one? Why (not)?

B. Watch the movie segment and fill in the blanks with the simple past tense of the verbs in parentheses. Use either either affirmative or negative forms, according to the segment.

Charlie, the kangaroo and Louis

1. Charlie _________________ (drive) too fast on such a dangerous road.

2. They __________________ (pay) attention to the wild animals on the road.

3. Charlie _________________(run over) a kangaroo.

4. Louis ________________ (put) on his jacket on the kangaroo.

5. Louis __________________ (check) what was in the pockets.

6. They _________________ (kill) the kangaroo.

7. They _________________ (crash) their car into a rock.

8. Charlie _________________ (be) kicked by the kangaroo.

9. The kangaroo __________________(hop) away with their money.

C. Rewrite the sentences above using wish and if only to express regrets.

Ex: 1. Charlie wishes he hadn't driven too fast on such a dangerous road.

2. If only they had paid attention to the animals on the road.

How to prepare your own video activity.

- Select a scene in which the characters regret their actions.

- Prepare an exercise in which the students have to decide whether they use affirmative or negative sentences about their wrong choices.

- Ask students to rewrite the sentences using the grammar goal.


Saturday, February 14

100 Feet - 1st Conditional

This segment is about a woman who killed her violent husband and is now in house arrest. The segment shows police officers telling her about how her ankle bracelet works and its misuse consequences. For this blog, I'm writing the matches in the correct order, but you should mix the second column up when you prepare the exercise sheet for your students.

Ask your students to do the matching exercise before they watch the segment:

Before viewing:

Disscuss the following questions with a partner:

1 - What are the advantages and disadvantages of house arrest?
2 - Do you agree with this procedure of the law? Why (not)?
3 - Is it an effective way to rehabilitate prisoners? Why (not)?

Match the condition and the consequence of the following actions.


1 - She passes the 100 perimeter space.
2 - The alarm continues for more than 3 minutes.
3 - She breaks the house arrest rules.
4 - She has any violation.
5 - She attempts to remove the electronic ankle bracelet or tamper with the base unit.
6 - They get a blackout or something.


( 1 ) The alarm activates.
( ) A signal is automatically sent and a car is seen immediately.
( ) She goes back to jail.
( ) It automatically adds 10 years to her sentence.
( ) An alarm automatically alerts the police.
( ) The base unit still works.

Now watch the segment and decide whether your guesses were correct.

Now rewrite the couple of sentences, using the 1st conditional:
1 - If she passes the 100 feet perimeter, the alarm will activate.


Friday, February 6

Flashbacks of a Fool: Paired Conjunctions - Both... And, Neither... Nor, Either... or, Not only... but (also)...

This is a fantastic scene that shows the first date of these two teenagers, Joe and Ruth, who lived the 80's to its extreme and loved David Bowie and Bryan Ferry's Roxy Music.

Watch the movie segment and write < + > if the activity or item is true according to the segment and < - > if it is not.

1. Ruth and Joe would like to drink (red wine < + > white wine < + >)

Ruth and Joe would like to drink either red or white wine.

2. (Ruth < > Joe < >) are wearing make up.

................................. wearing make up.

3. (Joe < > Ruth < >) laid on the carpet.

.................................... laid on the carpet.

4. (Joe< > Ruth < >) liked William Burroughs's books.

................................... liked William Burroughs's books. ( )

5. Ruth likes listening to (David Bowie < > Bryan Ferry < >).

Ruth thinks it is great to listen to ..........................................

6. (Ruth < > and Joe < >) imitated Bryan Ferry's (< > singing < > dancing)

Not only... imitated Bryan Ferry's .........................

Answer Key:

2. Both Joe and Ruth are / not only Joe but (also) Ruth…

3. Both Joe and Ruth / not only Joe but (also) Ruth …

4. Neither Joe nor Ruth…

5. Either David Bowie or Roxy Music.

6. not only Ruth but Joe... / both singing and dancing.

How to prepare your own video activity:

- Select a scene in which two or more people are performing several actrivities.

- Choose activities both or neither one perform.

- Have students write sentences with the target language.