May 25, 2015

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart: Imperative - Negative Forms

This is a beautiful, magical and dramatic story of a mother who has to make a very difficult decision in life - giving her baby to be raised by someone wealthier, because she does not have the means to nurture him. It is a French animated movie spoken in English I loved it.

I. Work in groups. Read the summary of the beginning of the story of Jack and the cuckoo-clock heart.

Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. Madeleine, the midwife, saves his life by inserting a cuckoo-clock in place of his defective heart. It will work, she warns him, as long as Jack observes three golden rules. 

II. Come up with the three rules you believe would keep Jack alive. Be creative and use your imagination.

1 He must never _________________________________________
2 ____________________________________________________ 
3 ____________________________________________________

III. Share your ideas with the class.

IV. Watch the segment and check your answers.

V. Discuss:

1. What's your opinion about the mother's decision to give up on her child? 

2. Why did she do that?

3. What will happen to Jack?

4. Which one of the rules is the most difficult one in your opinion? Why?

5. What would you do if you were in Jack's biological mother shoes?

Answer key:
He will only live as long as he observes three golden rules: 
1 - He must never touch the hands of the clock. 
2 - He must master his anger. 

May 15, 2015

Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Modal for Ability CAN

This is a lovely movie. Mr. Peabody's kind heart is amazing and the plot is just fantastic. It is great to teach children a bit about history as well. I truly recommend it.

I. Work in small groups. Watch the movie segment. You can't write anything. After the segment is over, make a list of everything Mr. Peabody can do. 


Each group takes turns and says one sentence about what Mr. Peabody can do (Ex: GROUP 1 - He can speak English). Then the next group has to say a different sentence. The group that says more sentences is the winner.

Answer key:

Students may come up with more sentences than the ones in the answer key. Here are the activities I managed to see.

He can do yoga.
He can turn somersaults.
He can speak English.
He can read.
He can use the computer.
He can make sculptures.
He can play basketball.
He can write.
He can make creative inventions.
He can solve political problems around the world.
He can sing.
He can skate.
He can dance.


The students write all the activities they manage to see Mr. Peabody doing on separate slips of paper, using CAN.
Mix up the sentences and the students mime the sentences to their groups.


May 5, 2015

Maleficent & The Monkey's Paw: Wish for

The Monkey's Paw is a classic story that has been told from generation to generation for years. I suggest you use it with ADULTS only. Maleficent, on the other hand, is a new blockbuster and can be used with students of all ages. I love Maleficent. It is just great.




"The Monkey's Paw" is a supernatural short story by author W. W. Jacobs first - published in England in 1902.
In the story, three wishes are granted to the owner of the monkey's paw, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate.

Be careful what you wish for 
(it might just happen) used for telling someone to think carefully about the changes that they would like in their life, as they might not make them any happier. If you get things that you desire, there may be unforeseen and unpleasant consequences.



I. How would you explain these other idioms?

One Wish, a Thousand Regrets.

With Every Wish, There Comes a Curse.

II. Watch the movie segment from the movie The Monkey's Paw and answer the questions with a partner.

1. What did the characters wish for?

2. What were the consequences?

3. What would you wish for if you found the monkey's paw. Write down three wishes.

II. Now watch the segment from the movie Maleficent and answer the questions:

1. What did the fairies wish for the princess?

2. What did Maleficent wish for?

III. Work with a partner:

What would you wish for the following people? Work with a friend and write at least one sentence for each of the items below. Follow the grammar instructions to create your sentences.

  • The president of your country
  • Your parents
  • Your best friend
  • The world population
  • Africans with Ebola
  • Animals in danger of extinction