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

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, I Have to Practice (L2U2L4), everyone in Ben’s class has to practice their lines for a play by William Shakespeare. Find out why Moby doesn’t have to work as hard as everyone else. In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-8, students will practice using the different forms and tenses of the modal have to.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Apply use of the modal have to to preparations for events in their own lives.
  2. Match subjects and time with the correct form and tense of the modal have to.
  3. Create lists of rules using the modal have to.
  4. Ask questions using the modal have to.



For Activity 2, Match Up, make two sets of cards for each small group, People Cards and Time Cards. The People Cards include people, such as Ben, Moby, Nikki, Ed, We, Our class, Everyone in our school, My mom and dad, etc. You may want to include your name and the names of students in your class. On the Time Cards, write past, present, and future times, such as today, tomorrow, yesterday, last week, on Friday, next week, in three years, long ago, next month, every day, on the weekends, etc. You can create as many cards as you’d like but no less than 10 per card type.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Presentation Preparation. After watching the movie I Have to Practice (L2U2L4), remind students that the characters are preparing for a play. Prompt them to think about a play, recital, sporting event, etc. that they were once in, are in now, or will be in at some time in the future (e.g., end of the year play or concert). Have students describe to a partner at least three things they have to, had to, or will have to do to prepare. Provide an example if needed, such as I will have to make or borrow a costume. Or I have to practice playing the flute every night for an hour to get ready for the concert. After students share their experiences with a partner, the partner presents what he/she discovered with the group, using the correct form of the modal have to. For example, Kim will have to practice playing the flute every night.
  2. Match Up. Provide each small group with a set of People Cards and a separate set of Time Cards (see Preparation). Have them place the two sets face down on a table. Taking turns, students pick up the top card from each pile. Using the two cards, they construct a sentence using the correct form and tense of the modal have to. Instruct students to try to construct sentences that refer to the movie, I Have to Practice (L2U2L4). For example, if they pick up the cards Ben and last week, a sentence might be, Last week, Ben had to learn his part for the play. If the cards don't apply to the movie, then they may think of any sentence.
  3. Rules. Rules. Rules. Brainstorm a list of places with the class where they have to follow rules, such as school, English class (or other classes), church, in a theater, playing a game, etc. Divide the students into small groups. Give each group a piece of paper and have them write one of the places or situations on the top. Then, in a Roundable activity, students pass the page around the group, each writing a rule that applies. When they can't think of any more rules, have them collaborate and create a poster of the rules, using the words have to with each rule. When they have finished, students share their posters. You may also want to display them in the room.
  4. Twenty Questions. Invite a volunteer to the front of the class to share a job that he or she wants to do one day, or a job that comes to mind. The class has to guess the job based on answers to yes/no questions they ask the student. They must ask the questions with the modal have to. Examples include: Do you have to work outside? Do you have to wear a tie? Do you have to drive a car? The first student who guesses correctly is the next person who thinks of a job.
  5. Write a Quiz. Take a Quiz. In a repeated viewing of the movie I Have to Practice (L2U2L4), have students each write a set of five quiz questions about the movie. When they have finished, they exchange papers, and take their partner's quiz.