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 ...............................



Aug 5, 2014

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Wish x Hope

This is one of my  favorite movies. The story is fascinating. It has the magic of cinema telling an impossible and far fetched, but moving story of an amazing couple. I have seen it several times!

 The word “hope” is used to talk about POSSIBLE situations that we desire in the past, present or future. The important thing to note is that these situations are POSSIBLE

“Wish” is used to talk about situations that we desire, but which are the opposite of the current reality or which are IMPOSSIBLE

I. Here are a few things a mother told her daughter during her childhood and adolescence years. Now she regrets having said that. Rewrite the sentences, expressing regrets by using WISH.

1. I can't kiss you goodnight.

2. I can't take you to your first day of school.

3. I can't be there to teach you to play piano.

4. I can't tell you not to chase some boy.

5. I can't hold you when you have a broken heart.

6. I can't be your father.

II. Now imagine her father telling her what he would like her daughter to be/have in her future years. Rewrite them, using HOPE.

1. Make the best of it.

2. See things that startle you.

3. Feel things you never felt before.

4. Meet people with  different point of view.

5.  Live a life you can be proud of.

6. Have the strength to start all over again.

III. Now watch the movie segment and check your answers.


Work with a partner. Come up with 3 sentences expressing regrets, using wish. Your sentences have to be true. They can be about your lives, your country, the world, whatever comes to your mind.

V. Come up with 3 sentences expressing desires you would like to come true, using hope.

Answer key:


I wish I could have kissed you goodnight.
I wish I could have taken you to your first day of school.
I wish I could have been there to teach you to play piano.
I wish I could have told you not to chase some boy.
I wish I could have held you when you had a broken heart.
I wish I could have been your father.


I hope you make the best of it.
I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things that you never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you're proud of.
I hope you have the strength to start all over again



Jul 25, 2014

Kung Fu Panda 2 & Madagascar 3: Simple Past

Madagascar 3 is much better than the first ones. Well, animated movies are my guilty pleasure, so I usually like them all. However, this one is really worth-watching. Kung Fu Panda 2 is just wonderful. What a cute Panda Po is! I prepared simple past activities with the segments that can be used in the same class.


I. Put the following questions in the correct order:

1.  you/ why / didn't/ anything / say


2. here / how / I / did / get

________________________________________________________ ?

3. come / where / from / do / from

________________________________________________________ ?

 II. Now complete the story about Kung Fu Panda's adoption. Choose one verb from the box, and write the correct past tense form in the paragraph.


It _______________ just another day at the restaurant.  I ______________out to the back. There ___________ cabbages, turnips, radishes. There _____________ no radishes, just a very hungry baby panda. There ____________ no note. I _____________ for someone to come looking for you, but no one did. I _______________ you inside, _________________ you, _________________you a bath, and _______________ to put some pants on you. And then I _______________ a decision that changed my life forever.

III. Watch the segment - KUNG FU PANDA 2 - and check your answers.


IV. Write a short paragraph about something that happened to you, using the simple past. Think about something unusual that you did or that happened to you, and write everything that happened then.


I. Here are some lines from the segment from MADAGASCAR 2. Correct the wrong ones  and write CORRECT if the sentence is okay.

"There was a time when circus Zaragoza, we were a great circus, and Vitaly was the biggest star of us all".

1) He jump from the hoop like he could fly.
2) One fateful day, he push too far. 
3) He fly too close to the sun and he got burned.
4) And he lost everything.
5) His wife run off with a musician.
6) He lost his dignity, his fame, his passion, and his fur. 
7 ) And when it grow back, it is less soft. 
8) He was our inspiration.

II. Watch the movie segment and check your answers.



Kung Fu Panda 2:

1. Why didn't you say anything?
2. How did I get here?
3. Where do I come from?

It was just another day at the restaurant.  I went out to the back. There were cabbages, turnips, radishes, There were no radishes, just a very hungry baby panda. there was no note. I waited for someone to come looking for you, but no one did. I brought you inside, fed you, gave you a bath, and tried to put some pants on you. And then I made a decision that changed my life forever.

 Madagascar 2:


1 - jumped

2. pushed

3. flew


5. ran


7. grew / was


Jul 16, 2014


Dear Readers,

I will be on vacation during  the next month. Soon I will be back with new activities. See you soon!!!

Jul 15, 2014

Puss in Boots: Imperative Forms

I. Put the words in the correct order (if it is the case) and decide who said those lines in the movie. Then watch the segment and check your answers.

G - Guard

P - Puss

K - Kitty

1 (  ) Quiet, you.

2 ( ) Shut up.

3 ( ) the / door / open __________________________

4 ( ) the / drop / weapon _______________________

5 ( ) Step aside.

6 ( ) Wait, Puss.

7 ( ) Freeze.


II. Work in groups of 3. Use the seven sentences in Exercise I to recreate the story. Then ROLE-PLAY it. Your story may be similar to the scene in Puss in Boots, or you may create a completely different scene, but you must use all of the seven sentences in Exercise I. You may add other imperative sentences to your dialog.

Answer key:

Exercise I

1 - G

2 - G

3 - P - Open the door.

4 - P - Drop the weapon.

5 - P

6 - K

7 - G



Jul 5, 2014

Warm Bodies: Both... And... and Neither... Nor

Warm Bodies is a nice film about zombies. The story is well conducted and some of the scenes can be really funny - or even scary. I liked it a lot.

Watch the movie segment and check who performed the following actions. R (the zombie) or Julie (the girlfriend of one of his victims), or both. Write B for both or N for none of them.


(   ) Likes vinyl records and songs from the 80s.

(   ) Likes Bruce Springsteen songs, especially Dancing in the Dark.

(   ) Had something to eat on the plane.

(   ) Looked at old pictures.

(   ) tried out some sunglasses.

(   ) Danced on the plane.

(   ) Had fun

(   ) sang a song.

(   ) Left the plane.

Check your answers with a partner.

Rewrite the items above, using the conjunctions BOTH... AND...  or NEITHER... NOR.

Ex: Both R and Julie like vinyl records and songs from the 80's.

Discuss with a partner:

1. How different would life be if there were real zombies among us?

2. Why are zombie movies so popular?

3. What do Julie and R have in common?

4. How different are they from each other?

5. Is this scene scary? Why (not)?

6. Why do you think they were alone on the plane?

Answer key:


2.  Both R and Julie like Bruce Springsteen songs, especially Dancing in the Dark.
3.  Neither R nor Julie had something to eat on the plane.
4. Both R and Julie looked at old pictures.
5. Both R and Julie tried out some sunglasses.
6. Both R and Julie danced on the plane.
7. Both R and Julie had fun.
8. Neither R nor Julie sang a song.
9. Neither R nor Julie left the plane.

Jun 25, 2014

The Three Musketeers: Superlatives

I. Complete the columns below with the given adjectives. Choose the column that YOU believe the adjective best applies to each character. Watch the segment and decide it.







II. Write one sentence for each of the adjectives above. Compare the character you chose with the other ones.

Ex:  Porthos is the MOST COURAGEOUS of all.



Jun 15, 2014

Despicable Me 2: Simple Past

Despicable Me 2 is one rare case of a sequel that is as good as or even better than the first one. I love Gru, his contradictory personality, and the little girls, especially Agnes. I used this lovely scene to practice the simple past tense.

I. Before watching the segment, complete the paragraph below with the simple past form of the given verbs.


Gru was anxious about his date on the following day. He was happy, very happy. The alarm clock _________ at 8:30 am. He ____________ of bed and ____________ a shower with his toy ducks. Then he  _________ his teeth, ______________ pancakes for breakfast, and _____________ real ducks cross the street. He happily ______________ the mall escalator. In the park, he  _____________ a Frisbee and  _____________ some tai-chi-chan. He also _____________ the drums with a few tin cans. Then he ___________ a flower to a young man for him to hand to a girl sitting next to him. 

II. Watch the segment and check your answers.


III. Work in pairs:

Think about everything you did today until the moment you entered the classroom. Tell your partner a story about your day this morning/afternoon. Make sure you use the simple past tense.

Answer key:


Jun 5, 2014

Grown-ups 2: Modals for Advice - Should & Past Modal for Regrets - Should (not) have Done

This movie is full of interesting scenes, but this one is special. I think it is funny and perfect for practicing modals for advice.

I. Work in small groups. Make a list with five things people should and should not do while shopping at a department store.

Ex: People should not shoplift.

1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________
4. ___________________________
5. ___________________________

II. Watch the movie segment. What did the character do that he shouldn't. Make a list with  your partner.


III. Role-Play.

Student A: You are the owner of the department store. Talk politely to the customer and tell him what he should or should not do while visiting his or any other department store.

Student B: You are the character in the movie. You are very sorry for the way the manager felt about your behavior, but you don't think you actually did anything wrong. Try to convince the manager that you are right and that nothing wrong happened there.



May 25, 2014

Planes: Imperative Forms

This movie is not as good as Cars, but Planes has its good moments too. I used this scene to practice imperative forms and to teach some new vocab as well.

I. Watch the movie segment and try to complete the blanks with imperative forms of the given verbs after watching it..


Useful Vocabulary:
  (two plane racing silos)
 (slalom the silos)
 (roll inverted)

 (finish line)

The flag marks the start line. Across the cornfield,  three silos are waiting for you. ____________those with a 3-G pass. ____________ inverted and ___________, trading altitude for air speed. __________toward the finish line. _____________the silos. _______________into your turns more. ______________your climb and catch him in the dive. ____________your dive now. ____________ it again, one more time. Come on, push it, Duster. ____________this run all you've got. _________________ your radial-G. ______________ gravity work for you.

II. Watch the segment again and check your answers.

III. Discuss:

1. Do you like watching plane racing competitions? What about car racing?
2. Do you consider it a sport? What skills must you have to be a good pilot racer?
3. Would you like to be one? Why (not)?
4. Are you afraid of flying? Does it make a difference if you are riding a jet plane, a small plane, a helicopter or a hang-glider? Explain it.




The flag marks the start line. Across the cornfield,  three silos are waiting for you. Slalom those with a 3G pass. Roll inverted and extend, trading altitude for air speed. Dive toward the finish line. Thread the silos. Lean into your turns more. Begin your climb and catch him in the dive. Start your dive now. Do it again, one more time. Come on, push it Duster. Give this run all you've got. Use your radial_G. Let gravity work for you.