Mar 25, 2015

The Boxtrolls: Present and Past Modals for Advice and Regrets

This is a lovely movie with a moving story. It is a must. You can't miss this British animation.

I. Work in pairs:

1 - What would you recommend someone if you knew he/she were going to a formal party, but he/she didn't know anywhere there?

2 - What about an informal party? Would your recommendation change?

3 - Have you ever done something in a party that you regretted having done? Talk about it.

4 - What is something someone should NEVER do in  a party?

II. Watch the movie segment and complete the chart. Write 5 pieces of advice that were given to Egg.

1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -

III. Work in groups. Talk about the mistakes Egg made during the party. 
1 - What shouldn't Egg have done, but he did? Mention as many things you can remember.
2 - What should he have done, but he didn't? Mention as many things as you can remember.
IV. Imagine Egg is going to the following places. Make a list of social etiquette recommendations he should follow, according to your own culture.
1. A wedding
2. A funeral
3. Church
4. Christmas Dinner
5. Theater
6. Plane trip


Mar 15, 2015

The Truman Show: Present Perfect x Present Perfect Progressive

This is another awesome activity provided by Nina Hudd, an amazing teacher who also likes sharing. Thanks, Nina, for such enriching activities. I will be using this one next week!

Nina Hudd has been teaching English for over 14 years in England, Hong Kong and France. She currently runs her own English tuition company for all ages and ability from 2 years old to adult, absolute beginners to advanced.

Video Link at youtube

Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous 

The Truman Show

A. Read and discuss the questions below.

1. Have you ever watched a reality TV show? If yes, which one or ones.

2. What do you think of reality TV? Please explain.

3. Why do you think reality TV is so popular these days?

4. Would you ever go on a reality TV show? Why?

B. Watch the clip and complete the blanks using either present perfect or present perfect 

continuous. If either is possible, make a choice and explain your reasoning.

1. They _________ (get) about 5,000 camera in the town.

2. Truman __________ (live) in a fake world since he was a baby.

3. He wonders whether his whole life ________ (building) towards something.

4. Truman ____________ (want) to be an explorer since he was a child.

5. Recently, strange things ______________ (happen).

6. His best friend __________ (know) him since he was seven years old.

7. The producer of the show believes he _______ (give) Truman the chance to live a normal 


C. The Truman Show is an extreme example of reality TV, especially since he had no awareness or 

choice in the matter. Usually during a reality TV show, the contestants are interviewed as to what 

has been happening and what they have been doing.

In pairs, talk about what you have been doing recently. Do not use specific time phrases such as 

‘yesterday’ or ‘on Tuesday’ for which you must use the simple past. Instead use general time phrases 

such as ‘recently, lately, this week, already, just etc.’

Consider whether you are talking about a result or permanent state (present perfect), or a duration 

or temporary state (present perfect continuous). Remember, non-continuous verbs cannot be used in 

present perfect continuous. You must use the simple present perfect.



Mar 5, 2015

Rio: Sentence Fragments

Rio is a lovely movie. It is fascinating. I used this scene to practice correcting sentence fragments. 

Fragments result if you punctuate certain word groups as if they are complete sentences. 
You have a number of different options when fixing a fragment. Frequently, you can attach the fragment either to the front or to the end of a nearby main clause.
Another option is to add whatever words will give the fragment its own mandatory main clause.

 I. Watch the movie segment. Then read the sentences below about the segment. Revise the fragments in order  and make the necessary changes to make them complete sentences. There is more than one single possibility. If the sentence is correct, write CORRECT.

1. Trying to fly, the blue macaws landed on a passing hang glider. While it was gliding near the Corcovado.

2. Blu was fascinated by the view. Admiring the beaches and the landscape of the marvelous city.

3. Very confident, Blu spread his wings. To feel the breeze on his face and enjoy the flight.

4. Trying to survive, they ended up landing on a beach and crashing on some people.

5. The macaws were by hit some tourists on the beach. Such as a boy playing soccer and a beautiful girl wearing a bikini.

6. Even though the macaws are birds and are supposed to fly.



Answer key - Possible Answers:

Trying to fly, the blue macaws landed on a hang glider while it was gliding near the Corcovado.

Admiring the beaches and the landscape of the marvelous city, Blu was fascinated by the view.

Very confident, Blue spread his wings to feel the breeze on his face and enjoy the flight.


The macaws were hit by some tourists, such as a boy playing soccer and a beautiful girl wearing a bikini.


Even though the macaws are birds and are supposed to fly, they ended up having an accident.