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Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals Blog: Modals of Advice

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers

Activity Description

Use this movie clip from the film "Warm Bodies" and the accompanying activities on the downloadable worksheet for viewing, reading, writing, and discussion with intermediate level ESL students to practice modals of advice (should and ought to).


  1. Make sure that the Web site it not blocked at your school. If it is, you can download the worksheet and video clip for playing offline and save the files to a portable USB device. The movie clip is embedded on the blog post, but there is also a link for downloading the .wav movie file (playable on computers with Windows operating systems). If you download the movie file, play it on the computer(s) you plan to use at your school to make sure that the computer(s) have a media player installed and that it will play properly.
  2. Preview the movie clip (which has English subtitles).
  3. Adjust the volume on the computer speakers to an appropriate level before playing the video.
  4. Download the worksheet and preview the activities. There is a link to the worksheet  for downloading on the blog post. Print and make copies of the worksheet.
  5. Note vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to your students and plan a pre-teaching activity to help students learn these words.
  6. Decide which phase in your lesson plan you will use the activity. With intermediate students, it would likely work best as a practice activity after you have already introduced and presented the grammar of modals of advice. With more advanced students, it could be used as a warm-up/review activity.


  1. After introducing and presenting modals of advice (should and ought to), distribute the worksheet. Have students complete part 1 (make a list of 10 things you should do to make your life better) by modeling a few examples. Ask students to write complete sentences using should or ought to. Optionally, have students read their sentences in pairs or small groups or share a few sentences with the whole class.
  2. Continue to the second section of the worksheet and have students check the statements that are true. Students can share their responses and give examples/explanations in pairs or small groups.
  3. Tell students that they are going to view a movie segment. Set a purpose for the first viewing (part III of the worksheet). Explain to students that they are going to watch the movie segment to see what they and the main character have in common and which of the students in part II of the worksheet are also true for the main character.
  4. Open a Web browser to the blog post at the Example Web Site (above) or, if the site is blocked at your school and you downloaded the video file, open the USB device where you have saved the file and select the movie file to play it. Play the movie clip again, as needed.
  5. Students can share their responses for part III of the worksheet in pairs or small groups. Model a couple of sentences, for example: "Both the main character and I should eat better."
  6. Tell students that they will view the movie segment again in order to write three pieces of advice using "should" or "ought to" (part IV of the worksheet), such as "He should get more sleep." After students have completed part IV, check their writing individually or have students volunteer to write sentences on the board.
  7. Finish the mini lesson with the discussion questions about the movie segment (part V of the worksheet).

More Ways

  • This blog (see link immediately above) contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through exercises included for download. Movies clips are embedded on the blog, but there are also links to the video files for download.The blog postings have a movie segments, lesson plans, printable worksheets with answer keys for each activity, and the tips to develop your own grammar activities with movie segments. New activities are posted regularly. The language level and age are indicated for each posting. You can search postings by grammar structure on the left navigation panel of the blog. And if you scroll far enough down you will also see the movies listed by levels such as Activities for Beginners, Activities for Basic Learners, Activities for Intermediate Learners, and Activities for Advanced Learners.


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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.