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

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, We Might Babysit (L2U4L5), Ed asks Ben and Moby to babysit for his little sister Abby. Before they agree, Ben reminds Moby of all the crazy things that happened last time they babysat, and students review the past progressive and modals that express advice. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students use the past progressive and advice modals in various written and oral activities.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Relate how the movie connects to their own lives.
  2. Write details about the movie using the past progressive and past simple form of verbs.
  3. Explain the meaning of a proverb in a presentation using modals of advice.
  4. Apply a proverb to a new situation.


Lesson Procedure:

  1. Goal! Brainstorm different future jobs or goals the students have and list them on the board. Instruct the students to select one and write out 3-4 sentences about things they should, ought to, had better, or are supposed to do to achieve that goal. Volunteers can share their sentences while the class guesses the jobs or goals they hope to achieve.
  2. Babysitting. Before watching the movie We Might Babysit (L2U4L5), tell the class they are about to see some crazy things that happened to Ben and Moby. Ask students to share any babysitting stories they may have. Then, have pairs of students write at least three sentences using may or might about things that might happen while babysitting. For each possibility, they must also include advice for the babysitter using should, ought to or had better. For example: The baby might sleep a long time. The babysitter had better bring something to do. When they have finished, ask volunteers to share with the class.
  3. Card Game. Distribute blank index cards to pairs of students. Instruct them to watch the movie again, and write at least five True-False statements based on the movie. They should not indicate the answers. Encourage students to use the past progressive. Then collect all the cards, shuffle them, and redistribute a set of cards to each pair. The players should place the cards face down and take turns reading and answering them. If the sentence is false, then they must decide on a correction.
  4. Proverbs of Advice. Write the following proverb on the board, or choose one from the list below of proverbs starting with don't: Don't burn the candle at both ends. Discuss the meaning with the class, and ask students to paraphrase it using one of the modals of advice they learned. Next, distribute or project the list of proverbs. Instruct pairs of students to choose one, and collaborate on a presentation that explains it. Before they begin, they should look up any unfamiliar words and discuss what they think it means. Then have each pair confirm the meaning with you before they begin work on the project. In their projects, students must explain the meaning of the proverb, and apply it to a situation. If they want, they may include additional ways to explain the proverb, such as an illustration, a poster, a skit, or an equivalent in their languages.

    Proverbs starting with don’t
    Don't fix it if it isn't broken.
    Don't rock the boat.
    Don't cry over spilled milk.
    Don't judge a book by its cover.
    Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
    Don't bite off more than you can chew.
    Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
    Don't change horses mid-stream.
    Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
    Don't cross the bridge before you come to it.