Apr 27, 2013

Premium Rush & The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Comparatives with Nouns and Adjectives

I simply love The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its cultural conflicts and good humor. I used these scenes to practice comparatives of adjectives and nouns.

I. Watch both segments. Write (C) if you consider that the items below are more evident in the cyclist scene in  New York traffic. Write (T) if you think it is in the riding a tuk tuk's scene in India. Write (B) if it applies to both equally.


1. ( ) Dangerous

2. ( ) Busy

3. ( ) Reckless

4. ( ) Fast

5. ( ) Violent

6. ( ) Safe

7. ( ) Practical

II. Write sentences comparing the traffic in NY City and India.

Ex: The traffic in NY (India) is more (less) dangerous than in India (NY) or The traffic in NY is as dangerous as in India.

1. ___________________________________________________________. 

2. ___________________________________________________________. 

3. ___________________________________________________________.

4. ___________________________________________________________.

5. ___________________________________________________________.

6. ___________________________________________________________.

III. Now decide in which city the items below are more evident. Write (C) if they are more evident in the cyclist scene in  New York or (T) if you think it is in the in the tuk tuk's scene in India. Write (B) if it applies to both equally.

1. Cars in the street

2. People walking in the streets

3. Traffic lights

4. Taxis

5. Tuk Tuks

6. Organization

IV. Write sentences comparing the traffic in NY City and in India.

Ex: There are fewer (more) cars in NY (India) than in India (NY) or There are as many cars in NY as (there are) in NY.

1. ___________________________________________________________. 

2. ___________________________________________________________. 

3. ___________________________________________________________.

4. ___________________________________________________________.

5. ___________________________________________________________.


Apr 19, 2013

Oblivion: Present Continuous

This activity was provided by Philip Rice and it was published on his awesome blog THE ESL COMMANDO. Thanks, Phil, for such a great activity.

Phil Rice is an instructor at the English Language Institute in Delaware, USA. He has taught English for the past 5 years and in the ESL field for the past 3 years. He enjoys using technology, games, and creativity to help teach students English. His blog can be found at www.eslcommando.com

Oblivion looks like a great movie with Tom Cruise. This activity uses the movie,pictures, vocab cards and a worksheet to help students to practice the present progressive tense in a fun, interactive way that is more like a game than just an exercise.

How to use the worksheet:
Download the Worksheet Here  (Please note, it will look funny on the downloader, but in Word it's fine).

  1. Cut and Distribute Pictures to students
  2.  Play the trailer and have students sequence the scene in order (They may need two times). You may want to run this part as a game. First team in order wins. 
  3. Distribute vocab cards and have students place vocab with the correct pictures.  You can run this as a competition as well. First team with correct 
  4. Play trailer again and have students recite correct vocab out loud by stopping the trailer for each picture scene.
  5. Students complete worksheet with fill in the blanks.
  6. Teacher reviews answers.


Movie Trailer English Listening: Present Progressive
Touch his head
Lay on the ground
Play basketball
Fly over Jack’s  head
Talk to Jack
Ride a motorcycle
Sit at a desk
Fall through a hole
Scream at Jack
Light a match
Shoot a gun
Bang on the door
Fly and shoot
Ask the girl
Light shine
Spin around

Pretend you are a reporter, and you are telling the TV listeners exactly what is happening right now on the show in the order it is happening. Use the PRESENT PROGRESSIVE tense.
1.       Jack _______________________________, he  _______________________________, and he  ________________________. 
2.       Right now, an object/plane  _______________________________________,  the woman____________________________________.  Jack _____________________________. 
3.       Now, the red- haired woman ____________________________________, but Jack ________________________________________and he _________________________________________. 
4.       At this moment, the man with the glasses __________________________, but the red-haired woman ________________________________________.   Jack _________________________________________. 
5.       Now, the light ___________________________________ in the room,  Jack  _______________________ a question ,and the planes ____________________________________.  Now, Jack’s plane ____________________________________.

Touch his head
Lay on the ground
Play basketball
Fly over Jack’s  head
Talk to Jack
Ride a motorcycle
Sit at a desk
Fall through a hole
Scream at Jack
Light a match
Shoot a gun
Bang on the door
Fly and shoot
Ask the girl
Shine bright
Spin around
*Teacher:  Cut and distribute cards after students order the pictures, having them match the vocab cards with the correct pictures.  This works on sight recognition of vocabulary. Circulate and assist with unfamiliar vocab

Cut and distribute the pictures, then play the trailer at www.eslcommando.com
Students put them in order.  Then hand out the first sheet.  Have students put the present progressive in the blanks.
* All the pictures are available in the worksheet

1.       Is playing basketball, is laying on the ground, is touching his head.
2.       Is flying over Jack’s head/ is riding a motorcycle /is sitting at a desk/
3.       Is talking to Jack/is falling through a hole /is shooting a gun
4.       Is lighting a match/is screaming at Jack/is banging on the door.
5.       The light is shining/is asking the girl/are flying and shooting/is spinning around.

Apr 13, 2013

Yogi Bear: 3rd Conditional

This is a lovely movie, but it was not a real blockbuster. It is a wholesome movie with some interesting moments like the one in this segment.

 I. Watch the movie segment and decide if the sentences below are true or false.


The ranger did not know the microphone was on.
He sang her a song.


Yogi was dangerously showing off to the audience.
He set fire to his own scarf.


Yogi wasn't wearing his skis.
He fell into the lake.


The audience didn't realize the fireworks were activated by accident.
They kept on applauding Yogi.


The audience was too close to the show.
They ran for their lives.

 II. Complete the sentences below, using the 3rd Conditional.

1. If the ranger _______________ (know) the microphone was on, he ____________ (sing) her a song.

2. If Yogi _____________ (dangerously - show off) to the audience,  he __________ (set) fire to his own scarf.

3. if he ____________ (wear) his skis, he ____________ (fall) into the lake.

4. If the audience _____________ (realize) the fireworks were activated by accident, They ____________ (keep) on applauding Yogi.

5. The audience ___________ (run) for their lives if they _____________ (be) too close to the show.

Answer key:


All sentences are true.


1. had known / wouldn't (mightn't) have sung
2. hadn't been showing off (hadn't showed off) / wouldn't have set
3. had been wearing / wouldn't have fallen
4. had realized / wouldn't have kept
5. wouldn't have run / hadn't been



Apr 6, 2013

A Walk to Remember: Past Modals for Regrets - Should (Not) Have ...

This is a teens classic. In a survey I conducted with my advanced level teenagers, this movie was their favorite one, according to the majority of students in my class. So I decided to see it and I agree with them. It is a very good film, indeed. This scene is perfect to talk about regrets, using past modals.

I. Watch the movie segments and check the sentences that you believe were the characters'  wrong decisions.

1. The teenagers trespassed a private property.

2. Landon dared a friend to jump from a trampoline to belong to the group.

3. He accepted the challenge

4. He didn't know how deep the dam was

5. They ran away and left their friend hurt and unattended.

6. Landon didn't stop his car when warned by the police and had an accident.

7. Nobody was taking care of the abandoned dam during that night.

II. Now rewrite the sentences above, expressing regrets.


1. The teenagers shouldn't have trespassed a private property.

II. Discuss these questions:

1. What were the major wrong decisions taken by the group? Explain it.

2. What should happen to those teenagers?

3. Whose fault was that? Landon's, the other teens', or the boy was the one responsible for his own jumping?

4. What would you do if you were in the boy's shoes? What if you were one of the other teens?

5. What should the police do? Arrest Landon, arrest everybody, or have them pay with community services? Explain your answer.

6. What should happen to the property owner?

Answer Key:
2. Landon shouldn't have dared his friend to jump from the trampoline.
3. He shouldn't have accepted the challenge.
4. He should have known how deep the dam was.
5. They shouldn't have run away and left the boy unattended.
6. Landon should have stopped his car when warned by the police.
7. Someone should have been taking care of the abandoned dam.