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

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, Riding the Bus (L2U6L1), Ben and Moby take the bus home after a shopping trip. As the two friends navigate the crowded bus, students review the present progressive and present simple tenses, and stative verbs. In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-8, students will distinguish between two forms of the present tense to describe actions in an image, discuss different professions, and ask and answer questions about the movie.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Describe an illustration using the appropriate form of the present tense.
  2. Talk about different professions using the present tense.
  3. Ask and answer questions about specific information in the movie.



For Activity 2, Freeze, either use images of different professions, or create Profession Flashcards by writing professions, such as the following, on index cards:
Teacher / Doctor / Musician / Artist / Magician / Waiter-Waitress / Runner / Swimmer / Basketball Player / Farmer / Dentist / Nurse / Secretary / Salesperson

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Describe the Image. Display or distribute the At the Park Action Image, or bring in other pictures that illustrate actions. Ask students to describe the picture using the present progressive and present simple tenses. For example: Mike is painting a picture. He paints every day.
  2. Freeze. To practice the two forms of the present tense, distribute the profession pictures, or Flashcards (see Preparation). Invite volunteers to the front of the classroom to act out actions associated with the job or hobby on their card, without using words. Ask the class to first guess the profession, and then ask, “What is he/she doing?” and “What is his/her profession?” Students answer using the present progressive. Then say “Freeze!” to stop the action. As the volunteer freezes, ask the class, “What does a [insert profession] usually do?” Students answer using the present simple.
    For example:
    He’s writing on the board. He's a teacher! Freeze: Teachers write on the board. / Teachers give homework. / Teachers help us learn.
  3. Short Answers. After watching Riding the Bus (L2U6L1), have partners write yes/no questions about what happened in the movie that can be answered in the present tense. Example questions might include, Is the bus fare $1.00? or Is the bus crowded? Have a student from each pair read one of their questions, and have the class shout out the short answer. You can list the short answers on the board or prepare a worksheet of the following:
    Yes, he does. / No, he doesn't. / Yes, they do. / No, they don't. / Yes, he is. / No, he isn't. / Yes, they are. / No, they aren't.
    After the class has shouted out the short answer, you may want to ask students to answer the question with more information. For example, The bus fare is $1.25.
  4. 20 Questions. Project the 20 Questions Title Page. Invite a volunteer to the front of the class. Prompt the student to think of either a classmate or a famous person. While 20 Questions traditionally only calls for yes/no questions, encourage the class to ask any kind of question using the present simple and present progressive tenses to discover who it is. For example:
    For a classmate: Is she wearing a red sweater? What does she eat for lunch every day?
    For a famous person: Does he act in movies? Where does he live?


BrainPOP ELL Movies
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An Apple a Day…

BrainPOP Movies

BrainPOP JR Movies