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

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, We Planned the Trip (L2U5L4), Ben is packing for a beach vacation. He and Moby have to leave very early the next morning. Will they make it to the bus on time? In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students practice correct word order through collaborative, hands-on, interactive activities.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Match sentence halves and then arrange them in sequential order of the movie.
  2. Build sentences with multiple adjectives in a group activity.
  3. Collaborate with classmates manipulating words and phrases to construct sentences with the correct order.


Word order, subject, verb, indirect object, direct object, adjective, adverb of frequency


For Activity 1, Match-a-Sentence, write the following phrases from the movie on strips of paper. Fold the strips and put them in a container.

We’re going on vacation
in the morning.
We planned the trip
last winter.
We’re returning
on Saturday night.
Our bus leaves tomorrow
at seven o’clock in the morning.
I bought a suitcase
for you.
I bought you
a big suitcase.
It's usually sunny
at the beach.
Please give the blue, striped towel
to me.
I gave you my sweater
last week.
I'll see you in the morning,
at 6:45.

For Activity 2, Build-a-Sentence Roundtable, make enough copies of the Order of Adjectives Chart for each group of students. You will need at least one chart for each group. On each page, write in a different noun in the Noun column of the blank table. Leave the rest of the columns blank. Choose nouns that can be described with multiple adjectives, such as: table, hat, painting, horse, book, building, etc.

For Activity 3, Wizards of Word Order, prepare cards with the following words/phrases. Color code the cards (make all words of the same sentence the same color, but give each sentence a different color).
We / always / meet / at the bus stop / after school.
My cousin / is / never / sick.
I / baked / a / big / round / chocolate / cake / for you.
She / gave / him / a ride / home / on Tuesday.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Match-a-Sentence. After watching the movie We Planned the Trip (L2U5L4), have students take a sentence strip (see Preparation) out of the container. Explain to students that each phrase goes with one other phrase to create a complete sentence from the movie. The object of the game is to find the student holding the other phrase. When students find their match, instruct them to say the sentence aloud and then to identify another way to say the same sentence by putting the words in a different order. Provide an example, such as:

    Original sentence: Ben gave Moby his sweater.
    Alternative: Ben gave his sweater to Moby.

    When students are ready, have them arrange themselves to stand in order of the sequence of events in the movie. To facilitate discussion, put a bank of sequence expressions on the board, such as first, second, third, then, next, last, before that, after that. If they are not sure of the order, then show the movie again. Then have them share their original and alternative sentences, in the correct order. NOTE: The correct order is listed in the Preparation section of this lesson plan.
  2. Build-a-Sentence Roundtable. To review the order of adjectives before doing this activity, cue up the Grammar section of the movie We Planned the Trip (L2U5L4), to the part titled “Word Order (Adjectives).” The order is as follows: opinion (example: interesting book) size (example: big dog) age (example: old man) shape (example: square table) color (example: blue eyes) origin (example: French cheese) material (example: metal box) purpose/qualifier (example: cookie tray) Divide the class into groups of 4-8 students, and distribute one of the Order of Adjectives Chart charts to each group. Each group chooses any five nouns to fill in the NOUN column. Then in a Roundtable activity, students pass the page around, each adding one adjective to the blank table, in any appropriate column. When they can't think of any more adjectives, then have each group read out their sentences using this structure: It’s a favorite, big old, blue, cotton sweater. Alternatively, give the same nouns to the class, to compare their finished sentences.
  3. Wizards of Word Order. Distribute the color-coded word cards to students (see Preparation). Call up students with the same color cards to the front of the classroom. Challenge them to form a sentence by putting the words in the correct order.
    As an extra challenge, invite small groups to create and then cut up sentences that include adverbs of frequency, adjectives, time expressions, and/or prepositions of time. Have them swap their sentences with another small group and challenge each other to reconstruct the sentences with the words in the correct order.


BrainPOP ELL Movies
The Best Yearbook (L2U5L5)

BrainPOP Movies
Diagramming Sentences

BrainPOP JR Movies
Adjectives and Adverbs

Game Up
Sortify: Parts of Speech