Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie Styles of Art (L3U5L1), Ben is trying to paint Moby’s portrait, but first he he has to get Moby to sit still. As he paints, Ben shares his art history book and his knowledge of art history with Moby, and students learn the first conditional and time clauses. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students practice the first conditional and time clauses as they learn about different styles of art.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Discuss and illustrate the concept of the word if.
  2. Use first conditional sentences to describe an image.
  3. Match condition and result clauses from the movie.
  4. Listen for missing words to complete conditional or time clause sentences from the movie.


Clause, condition, result, if, unless, time clause, when, whenever, while, before, after, until, by the time, as soon as


For Activity 1, What if?, make copies of the Fishbone Graphic Organizer, and write examples of first conditional sentences on the board. You can use these examples, or make up your own that are relevant to your students:

If you stay up too late, you will be tired in the morning.
I will miss the school bus if I don’t leave right now.
If it snows, school will close for the day.
We will go see the ballgame if it doesn’t rain.
If the students study, they will do great on the test.
I will bake brownies, if I have all the ingredients.
She will get the lead role in the play if she sings well at the audition.
If the football team works hard, they will win the game.
If I buy an ice cream, I won’t have enough money to see a movie.
What will you do if it rains tomorrow?

For Activity 2, Conditions and Results, make copies of and cut out the sentence strips below.
If you don't stay still, I will never finish painting your portrait.
I will show you the painting as soon as I finish it.
You might understand art better after you look at my art history book.
I won't be able to paint like that unless I practice painting a lot.
If you like Seurat, then you will probably enjoy Impressionism.
If you look closely, you will see the woman from both the front and the side.
If you think Cubism is strange, wait until you see what comes next in art history.
When I look at an abstract painting, I will feel something different than you.
If you are ready, I will show you your portrait.

For Activity 3, Be Careful, make copies of the Be Careful! Action Image.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. What if? The grammar in Unit 5 is all about conditional sentences, which center around the word if. Understanding the meaning and concept of this simple word is crucial. Give lots of examples, and give students opportunities to talk about and share their ideas. For classwork or homework, they can:
    • share a similar word in their languages;
    • illustrate the concept of the word if;
    • make a poster to illustrate the concept;
    • visualize sentences or situations using if, and then describe them;
    • complete a Fishbone Graphic Organizer illustrating different options of a situation;
    • create a metaphor, such as the fishbone, to illustrate the concept of if.
  2. Conditions and Results. Distribute or display the condition and result clauses from the movie Styles of Art (L3U5L1) (See Preparation) for a matching activity. It can be done with the whole group on the board or interactive white board, or as a partner activity. Ask the students what they can say about how the first conditional is structured. Alternatively, provide only the first half of the sentences, and ask the students to complete them with either a condition or result.
  3. Be Careful! Use the Be Careful! Action Image to practice first conditional sentences. Project for a whole class activity, or make copies for students to work independently. Students can talk or write about potential dangers and hazards in the image. For example: If Moby drops the dishes, they will break. / If Nikki stands on the chair, she will fall.


  • Read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff  with the class to reinforce and practice the first conditional. After reading the book, students can make their own books based on the same pattern.
  • For older students, read aloud Rudyard Kipling’s poem If. The  poem is constructed entirely of if-clauses, and the result isn’t stated until the last line: “….you’ll be a Man, my son!”
  • Chain Story. Begin a group chain story, and have each student add a sentence to continue the story. For example:

If I finish all my homework in school, then I will go to my friend’s house after school.
If I go to my friend’s house, then we will play video games.
If we play video games, then his mom will get mad …

  • Prepare a listening activity, such as a cloze/gap-fill, with a song that uses the first conditional. Have students fill in the missing words first. Then do the exercise again while they listen to the song. Some examples of songs are:

Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
If you're lost you can look--and you will find me, time after time.
If you fall I will catch you--I will be waiting, time after time.

If You Leave Me Now – Chicago or the Bee Gees
If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me.
And if you leave me now, you’ll take away the very heart of me.

Can't Buy Me Love – The Beatles
I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend, if it makes you feel alright.
I’ll get you anything my friend, if it makes you feel alright.

If You Don't Know Me By Now – Simply Red
If you don't know me by now, you will never, never, never know me.

Natural Mystic – Bob Marley
If you listen carefully, now you will hear.

I Won’t Give Up On Us – Jason Mraz
I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough.


BrainPOP ELL Movies
If We Lived There (L3U5L2)
Ancient Egypt (L3U5L3)
If I Had Three Wishes (L3U5L5)

BrainPOP  Movies
Leonardo da Vinci

Pablo Picasso