Oct 15, 2014

Frozen: Future WILL x Simple Past

Frozen is an amazing animated movie. It is visually breath-taking and the story and music are fascinating. You have to see it.
Coronation Day

Coronation Day is the anniversary of the coronation of a monarch, the day a king or queen is formally crowned.
I. The future Queen's sister has lived a lonely life inside the castle, without contact with the outside world. Her sister's coronation will be the first time in forever that she will be able to do what she had always wanted to do. Fill in the blanks with affirmative or negative forms of the future tense (will or be + going to). Choose the correct verb too.

________________ light, __________________ music. I ________________ dancing through the night. I __________________ alone. __________________ magic, _________________ fun. I _____________ getting what I'm dreaming of because nothing is in my way.

II. Watch the movie segment and check your answers.


III. What were some of the things that she did for the first time in forever? Make a list of at least 5 things.

Ex: She saw the people who lived in the kingdom.

IV. Think about your plans for your next vacation. What are some things that you intend to do for the first time in forever?

V. Now think about your last vacation. What were some of the things that you did for the first time in forever?

Answer key:

There'll be light
There'll be music
I'll be dancing through the night 
I won't be alone
There'll be magic
There will be fun
I'm getting what I'm dreaming of because nothing is in my way



Oct 5, 2014

Rio: Possessive Adjectives & Prepositions of Place

This awesome activity was provided by a reader, Marilu Costa, who kindly shared it with us. Thanks, Marilu. 

My name is Marilu Costa, from Itatiba-SP. I've majored in Languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish) and I've attended a Graduation Program in English Language. I teach English to elementary and high school students, and Spanigh to elementary I students. I've been teaching English and Spanish for about 15 years. I love my job, and I always try to make my classes enjoyable for my students and myself. This blog is really amazing and helpful. I hope you guys like this activity. kisses, Marilu

Watch the movie segment and answer tasks 1, 2 and 3.


1)      Check the correct option to complete the sentences.

a-      The girl wakes up at___.
(   ) seven fifteen
(   ) six o’clock
(   ) seven oh five

b-      The ___ are good for the bird.
(   ) vitamins
(   ) cereals
(   ) hot chocolate with marshmallow

c-      Blu is a kind of bird called___.
(   ) macaw
(   ) parakeet
(   ) parrot

2)      Read the sentences and check True or False.

a- The girl and Blu are best friends.

b- Blue Macaw Books is the name of the bookstore.

c- Blu is drinking coffee.

d- The man wants to bring the male and female birds together to save their species.

e- The man is looking for some books.

f- Macaw is a kind of bird that is extinct.

3)      Answer the questions (use complete answers).

a-      What’s the girl’s name? ___________________________________________
b-      What’s the man’s name? ___________________________________________
c-      What’s the bird’s name? ___________________________________________
d-     What’s the man’s occupation? _______________________________________

Watch the movie segment again and answer task 4.
4)      Who says what? Write Linda, Tulio or Blu next to the sentences.

a-      (_________) “I’m not really built for this weather.”
b-      (_________) “ Are you looking for some books?”
c-      (_________) “I have come 6,000 miles looking for him.”
d-     (_________) “He’s magnificent.”
e-      (_________) “Linda? Little help here.”
f-       (_________) “ You’re actually communicating.”
g-      (_________) “I did not get that at all.”
h-      (_________) “ Your macaw is a very special bird.”
i-        (_________) “Blu is the last male of his kind.”
j-        (_________) “He needs me.”

Now, watch the movie segment for the last time and answer tasks 5 and 6.
5)      Observe the spot and complete the sentences with NEXT TO, BEHIND, AT, ON or IN.

a-      The birds are dancing ___________ the trees.
b-      Linda’s computer is ___________ the desk.
c-      The books are ___________ the desk.
d-     The telephone is ___________ Linda.
e-      The bookstore is ___________ Village Café.
f-       Linda is ___________ work.
g-      Blu is ___________ the desk.
h-      The female macaw is ___________ Brazil.
i-        The men put Blu ___________ a box.

6)      Now complete with the possessive adjectives (MY, YOUR, HIS, HER, ITS, OUR, THEIR).

a-      Blu is the last male of _____ kind.
b-      Linda is talking to _____ mom on the phone.
c-      Tulio wants to take Blu to Brazil to save _____ species.

d-     “I never left Blu out of _____ sight.”

Sep 25, 2014

Gravity: So x So That

This is an amazing movie. Absolutely innovative and gripping. I truly recommend it.
Books suggest that we should not interchange "so" and "so that". "So" means "therefore", and "so that" means "in order that". Every occurrence of "so that" can be replaced with "so" without losing meanings, but not vice versa. "So that" means "with the result that", "with the aim that", "in order that". "So" is making a conclusion, it is like you know already, or that something "can happen," according to your sentence; it is like the future predicted already.

I. Discuss the questions with a friend:

1. Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? Why (not)?

2. What moves people who want to go outer space?

3. Would you like to go on a space trip? Why (not)?

4. What makes people want to risk their lives by traveling into space?

II. Complete the sentences with so or so that. When both are possible, use so.

1. Dr. Stone was warned about the telecommunications blackout ______________ she would not be surprised by that event.

2. She wanted to return to Explorer _______________ debris would not hit her.

3. The craft was severely damaged by the debris, ________________ she lost complete control of her movements.

4. Dr. Stone finally detached her suit, ______________ she was thrown into the space void.

5. She couldn't see anything, ________________ she did not manage to  provide any information of her coordinates.

6. She calmed herself down _______________ she could find the visuals and provide the coordinates.


Answer Key:

1. so that
2. so that
3. so
4. so
5. so
6. so that



Sep 15, 2014

The Adventures of Tin Tin: Sequence Words, Narratives

This is one of my favorite teenage years characters. Steven Spielberg production is amazing and thrilling. A must!

Before you watch the segment, try to guess the sequence of events in the scene. Then watch the movie snippet and check whether the sentences are in the order they took place in the snippet.

( ) They ran out of gas.
( ) Tin Tin read the flying manual.
( ) Tin Tin started the plane engine.
( ) The plane was hit by lightning.
( ) The Captain saved Tin Tin.
( ) The plane fell on the desert.
( ) The plane headed into a dangerous thunderstorm.
( ) The Captain tried to fix the plane.


II. Now write a paragraph connecting the sentences in order to come up with a story / narrative of events. Use the sequence words below.



  • At first
  • firstly
  • first of all
  • to begin with
  • secondly
  • thirdly
  • finally
  • in the end
  • afterwards
  • after that
  • then
  • next
Answer key:

1. Tin Tin read the flying manual
2. Tin Tin started the plane engine.
3. The plane headed into a dangerous thunderstorm.
4. The plane was hit by lightning.
5. They ran out of gas.
6. The Captain tried to fix the plane.
7. The plane fell on the desert dunes.
8. The Captain saved Tin Tin.



Sep 4, 2014

Under the Dome: Modals for Speculation

I am a great fan of Stephen King and his imaginative stories. This one is no exception. The book, which I loved, became a CBS series. The book explores the psychological shades of the characters much more deeply than the series, but it is still worth following. This scene is one of my favorite scenes on this blog. This is the first post taken from a TV series. Others will come up.

I. Watch the segment. Then check the alternatives that you believe are possible explanations for the "dome".
1. ( ) It is a force field.

2. ( ) Extra terrestrials want to isolate human beings for experiments.

3. ( ) It is a military operation.

4. ( ) It is a natural phenomenon.

5. ( ) It is their imagination.

6. ( ) It is a nuclear shelter.

7. ( ) Your guess.

II. Check your guesses with a partner. Then write sentences speculating about what the dome is.

1. ________________________________ 

2. ________________________________ 

3. ________________________________ 

4. ________________________________

III. Look at the pictures below. Chester's Mill, a small town in Maine - USA, was isolated from the rest of the world by this mysterious dome. No one goes out; no one comes in. Think about possible consequences of such a happening. Think about the climate, water resources, food supplies, family members, politics, security, hospitals, etc. Then write down at least 5 sentences speculating about what might happen to Chester's Mill's population OR what they might have to do to survive.

CLIMATE: ___________________________

WATER RESOURCES: _______________________________

FOOD SUPPLIES: ______________________________

FAMILY MEMBERS / FRIENDS _________________________

POLITICS: ___________________________

SECURITY: ____________________________

HOSPITALS / HEALTH WELFARE ____________________

IV. Check your ideas with the students from the other groups.



Aug 25, 2014

Ender's Game: Adjectives that Describe Personality

Don't miss this movie. It is excellent sci-fi. I will prepare several activities with its scenes!

I. Work with a partner:

1. What are the qualities a good leader  must and must not have?

2. Can someone learn how to be a leader, or are they born one?

3. Do you consider yourself a good leader? Explain it.

4. Can you think of influential leaders? Give examples. 

II. Read the quotes below about leadership. Discuss with each other their meanings and whether you agree with them: 
"The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves."
Ray Kroc
"An effective leader is defined by results not whether they make great speeches or is liked."
- Peter Drucker  "The process of influencing others to perform a task by providing purpose, direction and motivation."
- The Army
"Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.
- John Maxwell
"Leadership is someone who gives hope."
- Tom Peters  "A true leader is someone who inspires others to become more of who they truly are.  They bring out the talent in people and have them put it to use over and over.  They inspire others to be more than they ever dreamed of."
- Anthony Robbins
"A leader is someone that people follow."
- Warren Buffett   "Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very  heart of things, not the periphery."
- Warren Bennis

III. Match the adjectives that describe leadership and their meanings:

1. Responsible

2. Self-confident

3. Competitive

4. Bossy

5. independent

6. Ambitious

7. Sensible

8. Imaginative

9. Enthusiastic

10. Principled

11. Self-assured

12. Tough-minded

( ) People who like giving orders to other people

( ) people who always want to win

( ) People who trust their abilities or skills

( ) Worthy of trust

( ) People who have common sense and are practical

( ) has or shows great excitement and interest; 

( ) shows poise and confidence in your own worth;

( ) has high moral principles

( ) People you can trust or depend on

( ) People who want to be successful in life

( )  Faces facts and difficulties with strength and determination; realistic and resolute.

( ) People who are creative and good at thinking new ideas

IV. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.


1. What is a mind game, in this case?

2. What personality traits does Ender have?

3. What do you think about their leadership training?

4. What did Ender do that stood out the others?

5. Which adjectives in exercise III would you use to describe Ender?

6. Which adjectives would you use to describe the other leaders shown in the segment?

7. Are they all effective leaders? Explain it.

Answer key:

Competitive - people who always want to win

Reliable -People you can trust or depend on

Responsible - Worthy of trust

Insecure - People who do not trust their abilities/skills

Self-confident - People who trust their abilities or skills

Independent - People who like doing things on their own, without help

Bossy - People who like giving orders to other people

Sensible - People who have common sense and are practical

Imaginative - People who are creative and good at thinking new ideas

Ambitious - People who want to be successful in life

Enthusiastic - Has or shows great excitement and interest

Principled - Has high moral principles

Tough-minded - Faces facts and difficulties with strength and determination; realistic and resolute

Self-assured - Shows poise and confidence in your own worth

Aug 15, 2014

Closed Circuit: Past Perfect Continuous

This is a great thriller. Its gripping plot and piercing beginning are amazing. Don't miss it.

I. Watch the segment. What were people doing when the bomb exploded?
Check the correct items.


( ) 1. A mother and her pregnant daughter were walking and holding each other.

( ) 2. A man was using the cell phone.

( ) 3. A mother was feeding her baby.

( ) 4. A woman wearing a purple handkerchief on her head was shopping.

( ) 5. A truck was making manoeuvres near the rear entrance.

II. Now rewrite the sentences you checked in exercise I. Add how long they had been doing those things and make the necessary changes in the verb forms.

Ex: When the bomb exploded, a huge crowd had been walking around the market since the beginning of the morning.


1. _____________________________________________ 
2. _____________________________________________ 
3. _____________________________________________ 
4. _____________________________________________ 
5. _____________________________________________

III. Talk to a partner.

1. Do you worry about terrorist threats where you live? How do you protect yourself?

2. If you consider the place where you live, what are the greatest fears of the population in terms of security/violence? What is the weight of terrorism in this situation.

3. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about terrorist threats? Do you think they will get worse or will they be less frequent in the future? Justify it.

Answer key:

I. All items are to be checked.


1. They had been walking and holding each other for .................................

2. A man had been using the cell phone for ................................

3. She had been feeding her baby for ................................

4. She had been shopping for.................................

5. It had been making manoeuvres for ...............................