Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie Little Red Fairytale (L3U6L2), Ben retells the classic fairytale, “Little Red Riding Hood,” as a puppet show.  Ben’s version includes funny twists and a surprise ending! Students enjoy the show as they listen carefully for reported speech. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students paraphrase statements using reported speech, and use context to distinguish shades of meaning among reporting verbs.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Restate dialogue from the movie using reported speech.
  2. Distinguish shades of meaning among reporting verbs.
  3. Research famous quotes and turn them into reported speech.



to report, reported speech, statement.
Fairytale, puppet, paraphrase, quote.
Reporting verbs: say, tell, add, admit, agree, complain, conclude, consider, convince, cry, explain, guess, inform, observe, persuade, promise, remind, repeat, roar, suggest, tell, think, say, scream, shout, whisper, yell.


For Activity 2, Reporting Verbs, make copies of the exercise below, or write the sentences on the board.

“The food is terrible.” He ________ that the food was terrible.
“I broke the window.” She ________ that she had broken the window.
“I will never do it again.” He ________ that he would never do it again.
“You did the right thing.” She ________ that I had done the right thing.
“I’m very angry!” He ________ that he was very angry.
“You should buy the pink sweater.” She ________ me that I should buy the pink sweater.
“The movie will start at eight o’clock.” He ________ me that the movie would start at eight o’clock.
“There are around 50 gumballs in the machine.” She _____ that there were around 50 gumballs in the machine.

For the extension activity, bring in puppets or invite students to bring puppets to school, or bring in materials for students to make their own puppets.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Now You Do It. In a repeat viewing of the movie Little Red Fairytale (L3U6L2), pause after a character says a line, and ask, “What did he say?” Students answer using reported speech. Note: We will learn about Reported Questions and Commands in the next lesson, so you may not want to use those examples.

    Alternatively, show the Grammar movie, pausing before Ben repeats what he has said. Challenge students to make the reported speech statement. Then continue playing, for students to confirm their statements.
  2. Reporting Verbs. There are many reporting verbs besides say and tell. Remind students that they can make speech and writing more interesting by using a variety of reporting verbs, depending on the context of the sentences. Distribute the sentences to students (see Preparation), or write them on the board for students to copy. Instruct students to change each sentence to a reported statement using reporting verbs listed in Know More: add, admit, agree, complain, conclude, consider, convince, cry, explain, guess, inform, observe, persuade, promise, remind, repeat, roar, suggest, tell, think, say, scream, shout, whisper, yell.
    To differentiate for an added challenge, have students fold their papers and look only at the left side of the page.
  3. Report the Quote. Display examples of famous quotes and ask students to restate each one using reported statements. For example:

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream.” → Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he had a dream.
    Julius Caesar said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” → Julius Caesar said that he had come, he had seen, and he had conquered.

    For homework, assign students to research at least three other famous quotes, writing each one on a separate index card. Have students read their quotes, turning them into reported speech. Then ask other students what the original quotes were, and discuss what the speakers meant in context.
  4. Guess the Song. For homework, assign students to find a song they like and paraphrase it, reporting what the singer said. Have them report the “story” of the song to the class or a partner, and ask the class or their partners to guess the song.


With a partner, or in groups of three, students turn the movie Little Red Fairytale (L3U6L2) into a dialogue, changing the reported statements to direct speech. They should have three characters: Little Red, Little Red’s mother, and the wolf. Allow time to prepare and practice their skits, and then perform them for the class.

Alternatively, students may want to create their own puppet shows. Puppets are effective tools for facilitating dialogue among language learners. If you have puppets, bring some in or have students create their own with socks or brown paper bags. Ask students to share what they know about puppet shows and to discuss ones they have seen. You might show examples of puppet shows from the Internet. In pairs or small groups, have students write dialogue to create a puppet show of their own. They may want to adapt another familiar fairytale.


BrainPOP ELL Movies
Action! (L3U6L1)
What Nikki Wants (L3U6L3)
Area of Rectangles (L3U6L5)