Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, Mount Everest (L3U3L2), Moby is struggling to follow Ben up a mountain. When Moby loses steam, Ben points out that it is no Mount Everest. To Ben’s surprise, Moby has never heard of the famous mountain. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students engage in activities about Mount Everest while differentiating between the past simple and present perfect tenses.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Ask and answer questions about the movie using the present perfect and past simple. (Language Objective)
  2. Practice using the signal words “for” and since” with different time expressions. (Language Objective)
  3. Create a timeline of their own life events using the present perfect and past simple. (Language Objective)
  4. Define and illustrate content-specific vocabulary. (Content Objective)
  5. Answer questions about the movie content before and after viewing. (Content Objective)


Prepare the Anticipation Guide for Activity 4, True or False? and make a copy for each student.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. For vs Since. For and since are two signal words for the present perfect, and they are commonly confused words. The word for is always followed by a specific point in time. It tells how long an action has continued up to now, such as, I’ve been at school for an hour. Since is always followed by a period of time, and tells when the action began, such as, I've been here since two o'clock.

    On the board, write the sentence starter: I have been at this school _________________. Then ask the students to make two signs, one with the word FOR and the other with SINCE. When they are ready, call out the following time expressions and have students hold up either the FOR or SINCE sign to indicate which is correct for the sentence. Then choose a volunteer to say the sentence using the word they held up. For example, if you call out “last month,” a student should say: I have been at this school since last month.

    Time Expressions: 2008, last week, a long time, an hour, this morning, 4 months, I was a young child, September
  2. Timelines. To practice using the past simple and present perfect, have students create timelines of important events from their lives, spanning a decade. Events may include moving to a new home, starting a new school, running a big race, going on a trip, performing in a play, winning an award, etc. Once the timelines are completed, have students work in pairs to ask and answer questions about their timelines using the present perfect and past simple. Here’s an example:

    Student A: How long have you played basketball?
    Student B: I have played basketball since I was 8 years old.
    Student A: When did you win the basketball trophy?
    Student B: I won the trophy last year.

    To differentiate, put a bank of needed expressions on the board. Alternatively, partners can write and present mini-dialogues.
  3. Find the Match. For homework, have students find and bring in pictures for the following content words from this lesson (Mount Everest, avalanche, glacier, summit, peak, border, and mountain range). They can use any resources, including magazines, the Internet, or they can create their own pictures. Have them glue or draw their pictures on large index cards or 5X8 size card stock (the size of half a sheet of paper). On separate cards, students write information for each word, including the definition, examples, and features. Divide the class into small groups. Mix up all the cards (making sure to keep pictures together with their definitions), and pass them out to the groups. Students play a Memory or Matching game with the cards and definitions. To differentiate, students can use the word in a sentence or give an interesting fact they found out about the word.

    Use these words as part of a Word Wall about mountains or land forms.
  4. True or False? Before watching the movie Mount Everest (L3U3L2), have students do an Anticipation Guide to activate prior knowledge and make connections to the topic of Mount Everest. Example Anticipation Guide sentences are: Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Mount Everest is located on the continent of Africa. Mount Everest grows a little bit every year. No one has ever reached the summit of Mount Everest. After the movie, have students verify and correct their answers. For more about the Anticipation Guide procedure, click here.
  5. Ask & Answer. After watching Mount Everest (L3U3L2), have students write down at least three questions about the movie. Instruct them to think of questions using both the past simple and present perfect. Then, have partners ask and answer each other's questions. Refer students to Know More or the Grammar section of the movie to review the form and use of the two tenses.


BrainPOP ELL Movies
Have They Forgotten
History of Trains

BrainPOP Movies
Mount Everest