in Liar Liar, Jim Carey stars as a successful lawyer, who has built his career by telling lie after lie after lie. He lies in the courtroom, he lies to his friends and he lies to his family (white lies that is). 

One day he misses his sons birthday and lies about why he couldn't make it. His son, Max, wishes that his dad can't lie for 24 hours and it comes true!

Your English students will find it hilarious to watch Jim Carey unable to lie in various situations and this will be the ideal lead-in to your main speaking activity where your ESL students must lie to each other and try not to be caught out. The full lesson plan PDF with student handout is free to download below.

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What to Do in Class

Write the word LIE on the board. Ask your students if they know or can guess what it means. Give some examples, for example, exaggerating your age or how handsome you are. Make your students laugh. After a minute or two, they will all understand the meaning of lie.
 
Ask your students if they have ever lied about something. Try to get some humorous stories.
 
Show the film clips. Follow up with a short talk about Fletcher and if he was a nice man or not.
 
Write three things about yourself on the board. Two must be true and one must be a lie. Make it difficult to guess the correct answer! Ask the students which one they think is a lie and reveal the answer right at the end. Make all three things unusual or interesting.
 
Now tell your class that they must write three questions that they need to ask other students in the class. Everyone must tell two truths, but lie once to everybody. Get your class to mingle round and write their answers on the printable student handout.

Once every student has spoken to everyone else and written down their answers on the worksheet provided, you can ask them what they think the lies were. If they can guess correctly, the liar must take a forfeit card, if they guess wrongly; the guesser must take a forfeit card i.e. Stanley, what do you think Jenny lied about? Sorry Stanley, that’s wrong. Please take a forfeit card! This is a great activity, especially as a first class topic as everyone gets to know each other! Enjoy!

Lesson by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
 
Published in Movie lessons
Po is an overweight panda, who works in his uncle's noodle shop in China. He is a martial arts fanatic and dreams of one day leaving his boring job in the restaurant and becoming a Kung Fu master! He eventually leaves his job selling noodles and goes to a mystic temple, high in the Chinese mountains to study Kung Fu with the grand master.

Up high in the mountains is a mystic scroll, and legend has it, that whoever has the scroll and reads its contents, will be endowed with supreme knowledge!

Kung Fu Panda is fantastic for children and in this ESL craft activity for writing, your students will be making their own aunthentic-looking ancient scroll (with real ancient-looking paper!) and writing their own 'mystic message' inside. This Kung Fu Panda craft activity lends a perfect platform for your students to do some creative writing and then can give their scroll to their parents after; perfect for English school activities.

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For the English Teacher

Aims: Students have to make their own mystic Dragon Scroll with their own poem to show and display
 
Materials: 
A large bowl of strong tea (cold)
A4 paper (one per scroll)
Lots of sticks/chopsticks (two per scroll)
Kung Fu Panda Craft Activity: Getting Ready

The night before, prepare your ancient scroll paper by soaking the A4 paper in the tea for 30 minutes and then allow to dry. This will leave you with really authentic ‘ancient’ paper! This part is optional, of course. You will also need two sticks for the top and bottom of the scroll, chopsticks or paintbrushes will do, but real sticks look better!

What to Do in Class
 
Show the following clips to the students. This will set up the background of the film, how special the scroll is and make them ultra excited about making it! It will make them feel like their own scroll has an ‘aura of magic’!
 
First scene shown (05:05 - 07:30)
From when Shifu is playing the flute and the temple is first shown. This scene introduces some of the characters in the film and, more importantly, introdueces the fabled Dragon Scroll. It tells that the holder of the scroll will have limitless power and only the Dragon Warrior can hold it.
 
Second scene shown (18:55 – 25:50)
Po enters the Secret Hall of Warriors. The scene develops the feeling of magic and sorcery in your students. It shows Po checking out secret weapons and generally getting into mischief. The story of the Dragon Scroll is furthered and Po gets into trouble when first trying Kung Fu. The students will love this scene!
 
Third and final scene shown (1:00:00 – 1:03:52)
This scene shows Tai Lung, the evil snow leopard, defeating the other five warriors. The scene moves on to the temple where Po finally takes the Dragon Scroll. Master Shifu tells Po that the poem on the scroll holds the secret to limitless power and will help Po to defeat Tai Lung.
 
Important! Be sure stop the movie before the scroll is totally unravelled (just before Po gets the shock)! There is nothing on the scroll and your class won’t be as good if the students know this! 
 
Teaching tips
As with any movie lesson, try to watch the scenes of the movie well in advance. This will help you to get your mind ready for the class and you will feel far more comfortable teaching the lesson. 
 
With this particular lesson, don’t feel under pressure to make the special paper beforehand. It is a nice touch and the scrolls will look better, but it doesn’t enhance any language skills, so don’t get too worked up over doing it if you haven’t the time or materials.
 
Before you start making the scrolls, talk with the class what kind of things will be in the poem on the scroll. Write any student ideas on the board as they throw them at you. This part is crucial to give students some clear ideas on how to write their poems on the scroll. Don’t rush this part, even though the students will be eager to get started making the scroll. Stay in control of what goes on.
 
Make sure the students write the poem (or whatever they can write according to ability) first before attaching the sticks at the top and bottom. The students will be keen to construct the scroll first and then write the poem (kids are kids!), but it will be difficult to write on the paper after the sticks are attached! Kids usually aren’t that practical!!
 
There is no need to show the clips in 100% English (without the help of first language subtitles). Having first language subtitles aids their understanding and enjoyment of the movie. The main language aim of the class is the poem writing; the students will miss the ‘feeling’ of the class and the whole lesson won’t be as stimulating if you insist of doing everything in English! 

Lesson by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen







 
Published in Movie lessons
Funnyman Adam Sandler stars in Click, a bout an architect who is unhappy with life. He gets given a TV remote control which allows him to take better control of his life.

In this ESL movie lesson plan, you'll be showing clips of Click and have your students practicing wh questions and other question words. Wh questions are simply questions which begin with the letters wh: What, when, where, why, who, which...there are question cards to download in this free lesson plan.

Beginner level English students can sometimes find these questions confusing, that is, which question to use and when....there you go, more wh questions!

Want to buy Click from Amazon to use in this lesson? Click here to buy - you'll be helping us out too!







What to Do in Class

Ask you’re your students some basic questions that they will understand i.e. what’s your name? Where do you live? How old are you? When do you wake up? Get a good range of question words.
 
After you have asked these simple questions, write up the same questions on the whiteboard. Underline the question word of the first sentence and tell your class that this word is a known as a question word.
 
Ask several students to walk up to the board to underline the question words on the other sentences. Be on hand to help them out if they underline the wrong word.
 
After they have done this, brainstorm with the class as many question words as they can. Jot them on the board yourself or get them to come to the front to write them on the board themselves.
 
Tell the class that you are going to watch a short piece of a movie where they will hear many question words. Give each group of 3-4 students the deck of question words and tell them to lay out the cards in the order that they hear a question words. Not all cards are used, so they have to listen carefully and be selective.
Following the movie, go through the order (what, how, can, why, which, was, do, when, is, where). 
 
Groups now sit in small circles on the floor with the question cards face down. Each student takes it in turn to pick up a card. They must say three questions using the question words on the card, if they can make three questions using the question word, then they get to keep the card. If a student can’t ask three questions, the card goes to the bottom of the deck. The game is over when all the cards are gone. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner. This is a great way to practice making questions!

Lesson written by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
 
 
Published in Movie lessons
Teaching animals to Young Learners? Then this movie lesson plan for animals is right up your street! Use Barnyard to teach animals to your kids in English class.

Whether you are a TEFL teacher or a pre-school teacher in your home country, you're going to need to teach animals, the farm or the zoo at some point. Rather than just the same old Old McDonald song, why not give this excellent animals at the farm lesson plan and card game a try? Perfect for teaching young learners all the animals you can find on the farm.

Want to download the film in minutes from Amazon? Click here to download, you'll be helping us too!


 



What to Do in Class

1. Print and cut out animal cards. Fold the prints lengthways so that the animal picture is showing one way and on the reverse is the Barnyard logo. Print out one set of cards per group of students (maximum of 4 to a group).
2. Laminate each individual card. You should have 20 Barnyard animal cards. Lamainting the cards will keep them in good condition from grubby paws and allow you or colleagues to use the cards for future animal/farmyard lessons.
3. Have each group of children sit on the floor in a small circle. Give each set of laminated cards to each group and shuffle well.
4. Students should lay the spread out the cards face down on the floor with the Barnyard logo facing upwards.
5. In a clockwise direction, children should take turns in trying to find pairs of animals. After two cards have been turned over, if they do not match, the cards are turned face down again and it is the next child’s turn.
6. When a pair is found, the student must call over the teacher and tell the teacher the name of the animal. If they are correct, the child can keep the pair. Teacher should be on-hand to lend support and help for students who can’t remember the animal names.
7. Eventually, there will be no more cards left. The student with the most pairs at the end is the winner.

Animal cards: Cat, Coyote, Chick, Bull, Cow, Dog, Donkey, Gopher, Hen, Horse, Farmer, Mouse, Kangeroo, Pig, Rabbit, Rat, Rooster, Sheep, Turkey, Barn 
 
 
ESL Activity 2 – Jigsaw Puzzle
1. Print out one of the following pictures in full-page colour per pair of students.
2. Print out one accompanying jigsaw template per pair of students.
3. Using a glue stick (dry glue is best), stick the jigsaw template back-to-back with the full-colour printout.
4. With scissors, cut-out each jigsaw piece and laminate.
Give one puzzle to each pair of students. Students must put the puzzle together to form the Barnyard picture. 
5. When students have finished, they should tell the teacher which animals they can see in the pcture.
 
Additional follow-up teaching activity ideas
“Old MacDonald had a Farm” song
Animal Flashcard activities
Animal mime games
Children draw and colour their favourite animal
Children go into small groups to make their own farm on large poster paper. Groups then show their farm to the class and their parents and display on the classroom wall.

Written by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
 
Published in Movie lessons
British band The Police were one of the biggest British bands from the 1980's. In probably their biggest hit Every Breath You Take, the singer talks about how he'll be watching his girlfriend's each move because he has trust issues and he is jealous. It's actually quite a dark song.

Your students will be doing a verb card matching activity in this fun and engaging ESL song lesson (the printable verb cards are in the free lesson plan found on this page). This is super good for their listening and to tune their ear to the song. Following on as an extention, the students will be making their own stanza to perform (and share on social media if they are brave enough!) This is also a perfect lesson to study simple tense verbs in a super cool way. The lesson plan is available as a free PDF download below.

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What to Do


Cut out and laminate all of the printable verb cards before class. Shuffle up the printable verb cards before you give them out.

Give one set of verb cards to each group and let the students lay out the cards on the desk or on the floor. Tell the class that you are going to play the song to them three times, but the first two times, they won’t be able to read the lyrics.
Play the song once and allow the students to try to put the verb cards in the order that they hear them in the song. Play the song again and to give them another chance to get them into the correct order.
 
After each group has heard the song twice, ask the class to tell you the order that the verbs came in. Give out the lyrics sheet to each group and play the song a third and final time so that students can check their answers.
 
Follow-up activities:
 
- Groups of students have to put the cards in order as they listen to the song
- Students have to say all of the verbs from memory
- Spelling test/spelling bee competition
- Stick the cards on the wall and the students have to run and touch the cards as you read them out or as they listen to them in the song
- Mime games
- Make flashcards of the verbs and play games with these flashcards
- Students write a their own new verse for the song

by Stuart Allen

Stuart Allen
Published in Song lessons
The sounds of the late 60's produced some enduring songs that we all still know and love. One of the very best was the Mama's and Papa's California Dreamin'

This ESL song lesson is perfect for lower-level teens and adults. It's a very simple song for beginners to practice listening for colours, basic action, verbs, seasons, and simple adjectives
  •  

The California Dreamin' song can be downloaded immediately here. You'll be helping this website to stay open too.

Warmer
 
Put students in pairs and give them these questions to ask each other:
1. What’s your favourite season? Why?
2. What do people usually do in their free time in this season?
3. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
 
Task 1
Hand out the gap fill lyric sheet. Go through the words together to clarify meaning of anything such as L.A., California, preacher, and gonna.
Play the song twice and students fill in the missing words they hear. Check the answers.
 
Task 2
Analyze the song with your students. Ask them these ESL concept questions:
1. Does the singer miss L.A.? How do we know? (Yes. “I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.)
2. How does he describe the place where he is now? (grey, brown, cold)
 
Draw on these themes and ask students to think about their own hometowns.

Brainstorm on the board words associated with ‘hometown’, including places, people, things to see and do, feelings, etc.

In pairs, get students to discuss these questions:
1. If you were away from your hometown what would you miss? (except family and friends) Why?
2. How does your hometown make you feel?
3. Think of two colours to describe each season in your hometown.
Why did you choose these colours?

Lesson written by Phil Senior

Phil Senior is a British teacher living and working in Xi'an. Phil is an ESL materials specialist having written course materials for EF Education First in China, Russia and Indonesia. Some of his work will be used for the Brazil 2016 Olympics. He is also a former IELTS examiner for The British Council.





Published in Song lessons
This ESL song lesson is designed as a short, 30-minute supplementary activity to a grammar class. I Started a Joke by The Bee Gees was one of their early hits. It is great to use in the classroom because it is easy to follow, the verbs are not complex and it uses these easy verbs in a number of different tenses, which allows English learners to see the tenses in action and to deduce meaning for themselves. The free PDF song lesson plan is free to download below.

You can use this song with flexibility, whether you are teaching a grammar point for the first time, or even better, if you have covered a few before, as the students can contrast what they have learned with you. Not many songs are as good as this one for finding this simple verb contrast.


What to Do in Class
 
Play the song once, without the gap-fill sheet, and ask the students to write down any verbs they hear. After one play, ask your students to call out for you any verbs they wrote down. Write these verbs in their simple form on the board for your students to see.

Now hand out the gap-fill sheet and ask your students to try to write the verbs in the correct form that they appear in the song. If some of your students want to listen a third time, then allow them to do so. Afterwards, go through the answers with your students.
 
Before you go into any kind of deeper grammar explanation and study, talk about the song with the students. Allow them to develop interest in the lyrics and the feelings of the singer. This will enhance their focus and memory of what you teach.

by Stuart Allen
Published in Song lessons

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