Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, I Hope We Win (L3U5L4), Ben hopes he wins the flying contest, but first he needs to decide which toy plane to enter. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but leave it to Moby to come up with a creative solution. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students practice using wish and hope, and their appropriate verb tenses, in listening, speaking, and writing activities.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Practice changing the tense following wish by responding to prompts.
  2. Ask and answer questions about wishes in partner interviews.
  3. Respond to prompts about real and unreal situations using the verbs wish and hope.
  4. Create a montage or slideshow of their wishes and hopes.
  5. Find answers to specific questions based on the movie.



Wish, hope, interview, respond, prompt


For Activity 2, Interviews, write these interview questions on the board, or chart paper:

What is something you can’t do, but wish you could?
What is something you don’t have, but wish you did?
Who is someone you don’t know, but wish you did?
What is something you wish had never happened?
Where is someplace you wish you were right now?

For Activity 3, Wishing and Hoping, write prompts on slips of paper, fold them up, and put them in a bag or other container. You can use examples below or make up your own. Students need to be able to respond to the prompt using wish or hope.
It’s raining; You missed the school bus; Summer is many months from now; I can’t go to the party; He hasn’t called; I lost my homework; She’s scared of the dark; We have to run a mile in gym class; I can’t come over to play today; I have a cold; Tomorrow is Monday; I can’t find anything to eat in the refrigerator; We’re getting a new pet; I don’t have a pet.

For Activity 5, Close-viewing Questions, prepare a handout of the questions or write them on the board.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. This is Unreal. Before showing the movie I Hope We Win (L3U5L4), explain to students that the verb wish is used for unreal situations, things that you want to be true, but have not actually happened. To reinforce this concept, play the movie again and pause each time Ben says a sentence with wish, such as: I wish I could fly all three. Ask students to respond (as Ben) with the short answer: “But I can’t.” This exercise will also reinforce how the verb goes back in time in sentences with wish. Other examples are: I wish it could do this. But it can’t. I wish you would fly it lower. But you won’t. I wish it hadn’t crashed. But it did. (Or “But it has.”) After students have practiced using wish and hope, pause the movie after sentences with either of the two verbs. Ask the students if wish and hope can be switched in the sentences. Discuss why or why not.
  2. Interviews. Direct students’ attention to the interview questions on the board (See Preparation). You may want to brainstorm more interview questions with the class. Working in pairs, have students take turns interviewing each other, asking these questions. Explain that their answers must include the word wish and remind them of the shift in the verb tense after the word wish.
  3. Wishing and Hoping. Divide the class into small groups. Have a representative from each group select a prompt (See Preparation). Then instruct the groups to discuss their responses, or write them on a paper in a Roundtable activity. Their responses should answer the prompt using either wish or hope. Remind students to pay attention to verb tense changes. When they are done, have a student from each group read the prompt and their wishes aloud. Allow students from other groups to contribute additional wishes. Model an example with the class. For example: Prompt: We’re having sandwiches for lunch today. Possible responses: I wish we weren’t having sandwiches. / I wish we were having pizza. / I hope they’re good sandwiches. / I hope they aren’t cheese sandwiches.
  4. Wish/Hope Montage. Encourage students to think about something they wish or something they hope. It can be possible, such as I hope it snows tonight. Or something fantastical, like I wish I could fly. Have students write their wishes and hopes and make illustrations to go with them. They can draw, or find pictures from magazines or the Internet and glue them onto their papers. Collect everyone’s wishes and hopes and create a montage or slideshow on the computer or an offline collage to display in the classroom. You may have students who will want to create the collage or montage as a project. When it is completed, students may work on a narration.
  5. Close-viewing Questions. In a repeated viewing of the movie, have students answer Close-viewing Questions, such as the following:
    1. What’s a positive and negative thing about the yellow plane?
    2. What’s a positive and negative thing about the red plane?
    3. What’s a positive and negative thing about the blue plane?
    4. Find the moment when Ben tells Moby, “You wish!” What would the complete sentence be?
    5. Why did the red plane crash into the tree?
    6. Why is Ben jealous?
    7. What do you think Ben meant when he said that they each have strengths and weaknesses? Name a strength and weakness of both Ben and Moby.
    8. What does Ben see on the box that tells him that the plane will fly very fast?