Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, I Had a Cool Dream (L1U6L2), Ben dreamed that he and Moby were sailors, sailing around the world. He uses irregular verbs in the past simple to tell Moby about where they went and what they did in his dream. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students use irregular verbs in the past simple tense to write a Story Impression paragraph and also sequence events from the movie.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Distinguish between regular and irregular verbs in the past simple.
  2. Write a paragraph with a partner using designated vocabulary words and the simple past tense.
  3. Sequence events from the movie.


  • BrainPOP ELL
  • Large blank index cards


The present and past simple forms of: be, have, dream, go, feel, fight, teach, make, give, eat, drink, sang, speak, wake, take, understand, tell, lose, win

Lesson Procedure:

  1. The Two Lists. Do a modified Concept Attainment activity to introduce irregular past tense verbs. On the board, brainstorm verbs that the students know and remember, from prior BrainPOP movies or their own experiences. They can also use the Word List found on the Home Page and in every BrainPOP ELL lesson. As students identify verbs, write them on the board in their simple past form, in two columns---one for regular and one for irregular, but do not title the columns. Encourage students to discuss how the lists differ. Students will recognize that in one column, all the verbs end in –ed, and in the other column, all the verbs are different. Then label the two columns as Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs.

    Introduce the seven new verbs in this lesson, and ask students to add them to the appropriate list: dream – dreamed / feel – felt / lose – lost / speak – spoke / take – took / wake up – woke up / win – won
  2. Story Impression. Do a Story Impression activity with the class before watching the movie I Had a Cool Dream (L1U6L2). Project the Flash Words feature. In pairs, have students use the words they see to write a paragraph about anything they want. You may want to give them a set number of words they must use, or tell them to use as many words as they can to write a good paragraph. When they have finished, invite them to share their paragraphs with the class. After watching the movie, ask students to compare their stories with the movie.
  3. Ben's Dream After a repeated viewing of  I Had a Cool Dream (L1U6L2), ask students to retell the events of Ben’s dream. They can do this verbally with a partner, or in writing. Add a word bank of the verbs in the present tense on the board for students needing more prompts. You can also write the events of the dream on the board, with blanks for the past tense verbs, and ask students to fill in the verb in the correct form.

    Verbs: have, dream, are, go, don’t, want, fight, win, feel, lose, decide, make, eat, drink, is, teach, sing, take, tell, speak, understand, give, wake.
  4. Write a Postcard. Pass out large blank index cards for students to write a postcard to a friend. Tell them to pretend they're Ben, and write the postcard from one of the places Ben and Moby visited in the dream. They should revisit the movie for details to include in the postcard. Then have them illustrate the other side of the card.

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