Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

The BrainPOP ELL movie Probability (L3U4L3) asks what the probability is of getting an orange gumball from the gumball machine? Ben and Moby calculate and discover that it’s not very likely.  What will they do? Can they change their chances? In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students will practice using infinitives in listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities as they learn about probability. Activities include predicting what happens and matching sentence halves.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Predict events in the movie, using the infinitive form of verbs. (Content Objective)
  2. Match sentence halves with verbs and expressions that are followed by infinitives. (Language Objective)
  3. Complete sentences with verbs followed by infinitives in a listening activity. (Language Objective)



Academic Vocabulary: infinitive, gerund, array, predict
Verbs Followed by Infinitives: ask, agree, appear, convince, decide, hope, plan, promise, remind, tell, want, would like.


For Activity 2, Make a Sentence, print and cut out the suggested sentence halves. Make a set for each pair of students.

Sentence Strips:
My mother asked me / to help her.
Do you agree / to go with me?
She convinced me / to go to the party.
Have you decided / to come with us?
We hope / to see you there.
They plan / to have a party.
You promised / to play with me.
Remind me / to bring my books.
She told us / not to arrive late.
Do you want / to sit here?

For Activity 3, Cloze it Up, make copies of the Hear It, Say It cloze exercise below for each student.

Hear It, Say It Cloze
  1. You ____________ to use a coin.
  2. Do you really think you're ____________ enough to get an orange gumball on your first try?
  3. You want ______________your chances of getting an orange gumball?
  4. Ok, Moby, you've convinced me _____________ with you.
  5. Good for you, Moby. You ______, and you were right!


Lesson Procedure:

  1. What is Going to Happen? Before they watch the movie Probability (L3U4L3), tell students that Ben and Moby use probability to solve a problem. Ask students to predict what the problem might be. Encourage them to use an infinitive in their answers. For example, “Moby wants to buy an orange gumball.” During the first viewing, pause the movie at the suggested points below for students to predict what will happen next. Students’ predictions should use the infinitive. Suggested pause points:
    1. When Moby stops at the gumball machine.
    2. When Ben tells Moby that there are two ways of improving his chances of getting an orange gumball.
    3. When Moby pleads with Ben to wait with him for people to buy gumballs.
    4. When the probability changes to 20%, and then Ben asks Moby if he wants to take a chance and hope for an orange gumball.
  2. Make a Sentence. Do a Sentence Strip activity with the class so students can practice using verbs and expressions that go with infinitives. Distribute a set of sentence strips cut in half (see Preparation) to each pair of students. Partners match the sentence halves. To differentiate, provide students with just the first half of each sentence strip and distribute blank strips for them to make up their own second half of the sentences using infinitives.
  3. Cloze it Up. Use the Hear It, Say It feature of the movie Probability (L3U4L3) to complete the cloze activity (see Preparation). Distribute the cloze activity to each student. Students fill in the missing word or words, and then listen to confirm their answers. After each sentence, have students identify the infinitive and the verb it follows by either saying or circling them. To differentiate, provide a word bank.