Jan 25, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: 3rd Conditional

This is a great movie with a lot of food for thought. This scene is narrated by Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) and it makes the understanding of the message easier. I suggest you have the students write the sentences before they view the segment because they can check their answers when they actually see it. The narrator says all the correct answers in the end of the segment. This is best for younsters and adults.

Before viewing:

A. Discuss the following questions with a partner:

1 - Do you believe in fate? Are things pre-determined to happen? Or is it all just coincidence? Explain.

2 - Do you think we have a specific day to die? Justify it.

3 - Have you ever seen/been in an accident? Describe what happened. How could the accident have been prevented from happening?

"Had any of these things happened differently, the end of Daisy’s afternoon would have been another one"
1. Daisy’s shoelace broke

2. The delivery truck moved moments earlier

3. The package wasn’t wrapped

4. The girl broke up with her boyfriend

5. The man forgot to set the alarm

6. The taxi driver stopped for a cup of coffee

7. The woman didn’t remember her coat

B. Write the sentences above with past unreal conditionals.

Ex. 1. If her shoelaces hadn’t broken,
2. If the delivery truck hadn't moved moments earlier,

Daisy and her friend would have crossed (cross) the street
and the taxi would have driven (drive) by.

C. Watch the segment and check your answers.



Jan 19, 2009

Legally Blonde: Verb Patterns - Verb + Gerund or Infinitive

This is one of the best scenes from comic movies I have seen. I like how far fetched, but appealing it is. The answers are on the worksheet. Make sure you pre-teach court vocabulary (judge, attorney, lawyer, court, defendant, prosecutor, witness, etc).

Watch the video segment and circle the best verb for each sentence, according to the information presented in the segment. Then decide which form (gerund / infinitive / obj + gerunds or infinitive) of the words in parentheses is best.

1) The attorney refused/ wanted/ planned _____________ (accept) being replaced on the case by a Law student.

2) The defendant decided/ imagined/ claimed __________ (fire) her attorney on trial day.

3) Elle hates/loves/ avoids ___________ (wear) extravagant clothes .

4) The judge finally refused/ denied/ resolved ___________ (proceed) with the trial.

5) Elle's friends couldn't help / pretended / finished __________ (talk) about the court room in front of everyone.

6) The judge told/ asked/ begged ___________ (the ladies - take) a seat.

7) The witness explained/ urged / swore ______________ (tell ) the truth.

8) The witness claimed / showed / intended _________ (be) in the shower during the murder.

9) The witness denied / insisted/ warned __________ (hear) the gunshot.

10) The judge forbid/ prohibited/ let ______________ (Elle - make ) her final point.

11) The witness admitted / proved/ avoided ___________ (kill) her father by mistake.

12) Finally, the judge prohibited / allowed / pretended _________ (the witness - go) free.

How to develop your own video activity:
- Select a scene in which several people have to defend their arguments - like a trial, for example.

- Prepare sentences with the characters' argumentation, offering the choices of different verbs so you can check listening comprehension too.

- The students choose the correct verb and decide if the following verb is in the infinitive or gerund form.




Jan 10, 2009

The Game Plan: Simple Present

This segment is the beginning of the movie and you can assess the simple present tense in a contextualized manner. The movie is great and very easy for beginners.

Think about a typical morning of yours. Check all the activities that are true for you after you wake up in the morning. After that, ask your partner questions about him/her and check the ones which are true for him/her.

( )You ( ) Your friend ( ) Kingman                         wear slippers

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       turn on the TV

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       have vegetables for breakfast

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                        make fruit juice

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       read the newspaper

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       work out

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       wear a uniform

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                       put on some makeup

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                      wear a helmet

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                      play with the dog

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                     play sports

( ) You ( ) Your Friend ( ) Kingman                      listen to music

Now watch the movie segment and check the ones which are true for Kingman.

Finally, write sentences about Kingman, saying what he does and what he doesn't do in the morning.

Ex: Kingman wears slippers.
Kingman doesn't listen to music.

How to prepare your own video activity:
Select a scene in which the characters’ routines are evident
Choose and prepare a list with a few of the activities the characters perform
Ask the students to check the items whose activities they perform
Students ask a partner questions about the same activities
Students watch the segment and now check what the characters in the movie perform
Students write sentences about the characters in the movie, using the simple present tense