May 15, 2017

Minions: Transitions - Sequence Words - Narratives

 Watch the movie segment and make notes of some actions you managed to observe. Then write a short narrative, telling the story. Use sequence words (transition words) to link the sentences.


Words or phrases to help sequence ideas or transition between sentences or paragraphs 

• fi­rst... second... third... 

• in the ­rst place... also... lastly 

• after 

• afterwards 

• as soon as 

• at fi­rst 

• at last 

• before 

• before long 

• in the meantime 

• later 

• meanwhile 

• next 

• soon 

• then

Apr 30, 2017

Remember: Be Going To

This awesome activity was provided by a reader, Fabiana de Souza. Thanks, Fabiana, for sharing such an enriching task.

My name's Fabiana. I'm Paranaense but I live in Sorocaba - São Paulo.
I love studying and teaching English. It's something that makes me really happy.
I work at Dialeto Idiomas ( and I use Claudio's website a lot (I'm a big fan).
Enjoy your studies everybody.

The film is about an elderly and incapacitated holocaust survivor with dementia who sets out to kill a Nazi war criminal, who emigrated to North America under the false name Rudy Kurlander.

It's a great movie, which I extremely recommend.

Watch the official trailer and give more information about the movie.

Use BE + GOING TO+ the verbs in parentheses to help you.

What is Zev planning with his friend Max?
He ___________________ (find) a man who killed their families in the past.

What is he going to do first?
First of all, he ____________________ (take) a taxi.

How is he going to travel?
He ________________________(travel) by bus.

Where is he going to stay?
He ___________________ (stay) at a hotel

How is he going to remember the plan?
He __________________ (read) a letter every day.
He __________________(follow) the instructions mentioned on the letter.

What is he going to do?
He __________________(kill) Rudy Kurlander whose real name is Otto Wallish.

How is he going to kill Otto?
He _________________ (buy) a weapon at a gun shop.

What weapon is he going to use?
He ______________(use) a Glock.


What are you going to do tonight?
What time are you going to get up tomorrow?
Are you going to go away next weekend? Where to?


What / do _____________?
What / have for dinner ___________ ?
What / do __________________?
/ go out __________?
/ go to work ____________?


Apr 15, 2017

The Secret Life of Pets: Farewells - Functional Language

Check the alternatives that the characters used to express farewell.

I'll see you tonight



See you later

Have a good night

So long

See you

I'll miss  you

Sleep well


Talk to a partner:

Which ones do you consider informal? 

Do you have a pet? Do you say goodbye to them when you leave home?

Do you act like the characters in the segment?



I'll see you tonight


See you later

So long

See you

I'll miss  you


Mar 30, 2017

The Jungle Book: Modal for Ability - CAN/CAN'T

Watch the movie segment and write down three things that Mowgli can do, but you can't.


Ex: Mowgli can swing on trees, but I can't.

1 ___________________________ 
2 ___________________________ 
3 ___________________________ 

Now write down three things that Mowgli can't do, but you can.

Ex: Mowgli can't use the computer, but I can.

1 ___________________________ 
2 ___________________________ 
3 ___________________________ 


Mar 15, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Simple Past

This activity was provided by a reader called Magdalena Irrazábal. Thanks, Magdalena, for the contribution.

¨Before you watch
Discuss in class: Have you watched the movie? What is it about? Does it relate to another famous movie? Which one?

¨ While you watch


Watch three scenes from the movies. Put the titles of the scenes in order:
Newt arrives to New York                                        Scene number _____
Newt chases Niffler                                                  Scene number _____
Newt finds Niffler in the bank                                  Scene number _____
¨ After watching
Scene 1: Answer the questions
-          How many times has Newt been to New York?
-          How do you think Newt feels when the policeman asks the questions?
-          What does Newt say about his suitcase?
-          Why does the suitcase look normal to the policeman?
-          What does the policeman say to Newt at the end?
Scene 2: (a) Put the events in order
-          The suitcase opens and a roar comes from inside.    ___
-          Niffler acts like a statue.  ___
-          Newt sees Niffler.  ___
-          Kowalski arrives to the shop.              ___
-          Niffler and Newt destroy the shop.  ___
-          Newt breaks the window and jumps inside.  ___
-          Newt falls from a ladder through the window.  ___
-          Niffler drops the jewelry.  ___
(b) Turn the all the sentences into the Past Simple tense. Write four in the affirmative and four in the negative.
Scene 3: Write 6 sentences in your folder describing the scene. Use the verbs from the box and the Past Simple tense.
Enter – See – Catch – Shake – Fall – Laugh

Feb 28, 2017

Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter: Expressing Preference with Prefer

Grammar Reference:
Expressing preference:

We use prefer to say we like one thing or activity more than another. We can use a prepositional phrase with to when we compare two things or actions:


I prefer tea to coffee.

We prefer going by ferry to flying.

We don’t use than after prefer:

She prefers books to magazines.

NotShe prefers books than magazines.

She’s not keen on coffee. She prefers to drink tea. (or She prefers drinking tea to coffee.)

I. Make guesses to express preferences. Use the words in column one and decide the correct order of preferences:

Ex: History prefers _______________________ to ______________________.

_______________________________________________________________ .

_______________________________________________________________ .

II. Discuss with a partner. What you prefer? Follow the examples.

1. Fruit / Meat
Ex: I prefer meat to food.
2. Dancing / Singing

3. Hot / Cold Weather

4. Watching / Playing Sports

5. Hotels / Camping

6. Brazilian / American Music

7. Traveling by car / Plane

8. Comedies / Thrillers

9. Movies / Theater

10. TV / Video Games

Answer key:
Ex: I
History prefers legends to men.
It prefers nobility to brutality.
It prefers soaring speeches to quiet deeds.
Ex: Answers will vary.

Feb 15, 2017

Zootopia: Animals - Vocabulary

This activity is for very young learners. It is kinesthetic and fun.

I.              Brainstorm names of animals.

II.            Slides with farm and zoo animals. Give each student a letter, F (farm) or Z (zoo). Tell students to stand up and touch their toes if the animal projected on the board corresponds to the category they have (farm or zoo animal).

III.           Students watch the movie segment.


IV.          Project on the board the following chart and ask students to say what they have seen in the segment (T: Is there a black cow?...)

a rabbit


a lion

a hippo


a bear

a rhino

a gazelle

V.              Slides with the animals in IV. Tell students to make a line to participate in a game. The T projects the pictures and vocabulary from the chart in IV. The first student in line chooses the ball that corresponds to the scene they’ve watched (green – there is, yellow – there isn’t, red – there are, blue – there aren’t) and tries to throw it into a basket. When he/she hits the basket, he/she has to say a complete sentence (e.g. There is a chicken.). 

VI. Ask students to write sentences about the items in  IV, using There is (isn’t) or There are (aren’t).


POWER POINT SLIDES - Slides prepared by reader Katy Piauhy, who kindly shared it with us. Thanks, Katy.


Jan 30, 2017

Before I Wake: Euphemism


It's important that we be all polite to each other. For this reason, there are many polite ways to talk about impolite topics.

Match the euphemisms with the real message transmitted.

1 - He's light-fingered

2 - She's been doing time

3 - I'm just going to powder my nose

4 - Down and out / A down-and-out

5 - She's in the family way

6 - She had a baby

7 - He made an honest woman of her

(   ) she has been in prison.

(   ) she gave birth to a new child.

(   ) the person is a thief / steals things.

(   ) a polite phrase that some people use to say that they are going to the toilet.

(   ) 'Down and out' is an adjective but 'a down-and-out' is a noun that describes a person who is homeless.

(   )  a man has married a woman.

(   ) means pregnant. Other euphemisms include 'she's expecting a baby' and 'she has a bun in the oven'.

2 - 6 - 1 - 3 - 4 - 7 - 5


Watch the movie segment and decide:

What is the euphemism used?

What is the real message given?


Euphemism: He's in heaven.
Real meaning: he is dead.


Jan 15, 2017

Mr. Baseball: Modals for Advice and Regrets

One of my Methodology students showed me this segment to express regrets. I loved it. I adapted what she had in mind and came up with  this fun activity to express advice and regrets. .

I. Work in small groups.

Imagine you are receiving an American friend for a very informal "feijoada" in a friend's house. Prepare a list of advice you would give her so that she can feel comfortable in the event. Thing about the following things:

*You can adapt the activity with questions about a traditional luncheon or dinner party in your country (Thanksgiving, for example)

- What should she wear?
- What time should she arrive?
- Should she bring anything for the host?
- How much should she eat? 
- What shouldn't she do there?
- What time should she leave?
- Does she have to eat everything that is served?
- What if she doesn't want to eat such an exotic dish? What should she say or do?
- Can she bring someone with her?

II. Watch the movie segment and make a list of the American guest's inappropriate behavior.


III. Report to the class what he SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE, expressing regrets.