Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, Talent Show (L3U4L4), Moby has forgotten to prepare an act for the talent show, and it’s almost his turn on stage! What will he do?  In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students use gerunds and infinitives as they predict possible movie outcomes, talk about their talents, and differentiate among multiple meanings of verbs and sentences.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Predict and discuss possible endings of the movie.
  2. Discuss, write, and role-play a dialogue about their talents.
  3. Differentiate between gerund and infinitive sentences with the same and different meanings.
  4. Illustrate the multiple meanings of verbs that take gerunds and infinitives.



Act, audience, perform, talent, talent show
gerund, infinitive
like, love, hate, can’t stand, begin, start, continue, prefer, remember, forget, try, stop, regret.


Prepare sentences for Activity 3, Same or Different. For each verb, prepare a sentence with the same meaning and one with a different meaning. Sentences can be sentence strips or written or projected on a board. You can add more sentence pairs:

Ben remembered to call his mom. Ben remembered calling his mom.

Nikki tried to juggle ten plates. Nikki tried juggling ten plates.

We began to watch the movie. We began watching the movie.

Do you prefer to walk? Do you prefer walking?

They love to dance. They love dancing.

I forgot to read that book. I forgot reading that book.

Moby stopped to eat lunch. Moby stopped eating lunch.

We continued to run. We continued running.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Talent Show. Ask students if they have ever been in a talent show. What acts did they perform? Tell the students that the movie is about a Talent Show (L3U4L4). Ask what acts they expect to see in the show and brainstorm a list of possible talent show acts on the board. What do they think Moby will perform? Play the movie and pause right before the end, when Ben pushes Moby onto the stage. Have partners Think-Pair-Share an idea about the ending. What do they think Moby will do? Students can share their ideas with the class.
  2. What’s Your Act? Ask students what acts they could perform if they had a talent show in their school. Replay the movie at the time stamp 1.12 – 1.42. Then, with the help of the class, write down the prompts that Ben asks Moby:

    Think about something you’re good at.
    Think about something you like doing.
    What do you like to do best?

    Instruct partners to write and role-play a dialogue about the act they would each perform. They should take turns asking and answering using the question prompts, the list of talent show acts on the board, and the list of verbs from this lesson (can’t stand, begin, continue, hate, like, love, prefer, start, try, regret, remember, forget, try, stop).
  3. Same or Different? Have partners write SAME and DIFFERENT on two large cards or pieces of paper. Show a pair of sentences together (see Preparation). Partners discuss and decide if the two sentences have the same or different meaning, and then hold up one of their signs.
  4. Act it Out. Divide the class into small groups to practice using verbs that take a gerund or infinitive with different meanings. Give each group one of these verbs: remember, forget, regret, stop, try. Students must perform two short skits or pantomimes to illustrate the two meanings of these verbs (the meaning when used with an infinitive, and when used with a gerund). In pairs, the rest of the class guesses the verb, and thinks of a sentence to explain the idea of each skit, using the verb in the gerund or infinitive. Students can refer to the Know More feature for more information about the grammar.