Saturday, April 24

Eden Lake: Prepositions and Giving Directions

It is difficult to find segments to practice giving instructions or directions. This snippet, though, is appropriate because the opening scene shows a couple driving to a hotel, so I thought of having this visual input to practice this grammar point. The movie, however, is nothing special. The scene is appropriate for all ages, but the movie itself is scary and for adults only.

I. Watch the segment and choose the correct alternative according to the segment.

1. When they left, they turned left / turned right / went ahead.

2. They went straight ahead / turned left/ turned right on the highway.

3. On a small road, they passed on/ under / in front of a bridge.

4. They drove for a long time on/ in/ through another highway and turned left /right on the exit.

5. At/ Behind/ Near the traffic light, they turned left / right.

6. The Beer, Bed and Breakfast is on their left/right.

7. Another car turned left / right before them and parked in / under / for the space.

8. They couldn't park, so they left and turned left / right .

II. Talk to a partner. Think about 3 different places in your city. Tell him/her how to get from where you are to these places.

III. Describe your neighborhood to your friend. Say where the bakery, grocery store, pet shop, bus stop, restaurant and others are.

EX. The bakery is across from my building.


Saturday, April 17

The Stepford Wives: Participial Adjectives as Noun Modifiers

This remake of The Stepford Wives is not as good as the original movie, but it has great moments like the one I used to have students practice participial adjectives that are used as noun modifiers. My students had a blast watching it and this dry grammar point became attractive to them.

A. Rewrite each sentence containing an underlined object pronoun, using a participial adjective as a noun modifier.

1. The guests were invited to join the square dance. They started dancing in the ballroom.

Ex: The invited guests started dancing in the ballroom.

2. The ballroom was decorated. It had 4th of July thematic ornaments.

3. Some guests were extremely excited. They were dancing happily.

4. A man spun the blonde lady very enthusiastically. She couldn't stop turning around in circles.

5. The guests were intrigued. They couldn't stop looking at that odd scene.

6. The hostess, the players and the guests were surprised by her behavior. They stopped what they were doing to watch the scene.

7. The lady got hurt when she fell on the floor. She seemed to have a serious health problem.

B. Work in pairs:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What do you think happened to the beautiful blonde lady?

3. Why did that happen?

4. What would you do if you were one of the guests?


Answer key:

1. The invited guests

2. The decorated ballroom

3. The excited guests

4. The spun lady

5. The intrigued guests

6. The surprised hostess, players and guests

7. The hurt lady

Friday, April 9

Star Trek - The Future Begins: Possessive ('s)

This is the best Star Trek movie ever. I'm not a fan of the saga, but this segment is the beginning of the whole story, so I got to understand who the characters are and I really enjoyed the movie. I think it is excellent, indeed. This scene is full of visual input with few dialogs, so beginners will enjoy it. I used it to practice writing possessives - 's. It is a very simple task and they managed it well. It was really motivating. I hope you like it.

A. Watch the movie segment and complete the blanks with the words in parentheses. Don't forget to use possessives ('s) too. Make the necessary changes.

1. The boy, James, is driving his .................................. (mother / boyfriend /car).

2. He is .................. (Johnny / friend).

3. Johnny is ........................... ( friend / James)

4. The ......................... (vehicle /police officer) can fly.

5. The ............................ (mask / officer) is unusual.

6. The ................. ( full name / boy) is James Tiberius Kirk.

Answer Key:

1. mother's boyfriend's car

2. Johnny's vfriend

3. James's friend

4. police officer's car

5. officer's mask

6. boy's full name


Saturday, April 3

Freedom Writers: Indirect Questions

Being a teacher, I must recommend this brilliant movie about teaching. It is one of my all time favorites. A must see. I took advantage of this scene to practice the use of indirect and direct questions in an amusing manner.

I. Work in pairs. Interview each other by asking the following questions:

1. Do you have the Snoop Dogg's new album?

2. Have you seen "Boyz in the Hood"?

3. Who lives in the Projects?

4. Do you know anyone who is in Juvenile Hall?

5. Have you been in Juvenile Hall for any length of time?

6. Do you know where to get drugs right now?

7. Do you know anyone in a gang?

8. Are you a gang member?

9. Have you lost a friend to gang violence?

10. Have you lost more than one friend?

II. Now rewrite the sentences above using indirect questions. Follow the model.

1. I want to know how many of you have Snoop Dogg's new album.

2. How many of you ...

3. How many of you ...

4. How many of you ...

5. How many of you...

6. How many of you ...

7. How many of you ...

8. How many of you ...

9. Stand in the line if you ...

10. Stand in the line if you ...

III. Now watch the movie segment from the movie Freedom Writers and check your answers.

IV. Play the game the teacher and students in the segment did. Each student writes down 3 yes/no questions about what he/she'd like to learn about his/her classmates on a piece of paper and give it to your teacher.

V. The teacher draws a line on the floor and asks the students questions saying how many of you... and asks one student to say the same questions using direct speech.

Ex: Teacher: How many of you are suffering from a broken heart now?

The sts who are suffering of a broken heart stand on the line.

Teacher says: Student 1!

Student 1: Are you suffering from a broken heart now?