ESO2/3/4 Irregular verbs made easy. Mnemotechnics. +Note for teachers.

by Humberto Burcet

Here you have a fun way for studying our beloved irregular verbs. LEARNING TO LEARN: Grouping by categories can help you identify verbs faster and easier. Now, why don't you try inventing a story using all the verbs in each category? For example...

I thought he taught karate because he brought the kimono he bought when he caught the bus.

ESO2 try with the simple past (2nd 'column')
ESO3 with the present perfect (HAS/HAVE + 3rd 'column')
ESO4 with the past perfect (HAD + 3rd 'column')

Don't forget there are more types and combinations! E.g. come/came/come, give/gave/given, and we can guess the form of compound verbs like become/became/become or forgive/forgave/forgiven.

NOTE FOR TEACHERS: I have used the mind map tool provided by which also offers other resources like quizzes/tests, flashcards, etc. I took this link, as a base for the mind map one provided. Many thanks! Merci :)



lip dub _ SES Badalona from amb E on Vimeo.
Once you have finished reading the comics, watching the videos and checking the links is time to read the posts on Facebook and Tweeter because there is a clue for one of the 12 questions you will be asked in the final contest (worth 50% of the points!). 

This done, is time for you to be creative! Each group of 10 has to create a blog and feed it with your progress as far as your projects are concerned. Remember that the general topic is the European Union, and the specific one for 2014 is the European Election on May and their campaign "Act. React. Impact".

BLOG: Two members of the team will be in charge of creating the blog. Choose a design, a name (you can use your Team's name), and write your first entry: an introduction to your team members, your school, and your motivations. Include a picture and describe what you have done so far! "We decided our name... We read the comic and played the characters... We watched the videos and discussed the links...". For the blog: Check the blogs made by your 4th ESO colleagues in 2013 here and their campaigns: Swaggers,
These instructions can help you. We will divide the timing in three phases, like in a real campaign: pre-production, production and post-production.


Firstly, the team has to do a brainstorming of ideas: WHAT topic you are going to deal with, and WHY the aspect you have chosen is important to promote. You can find your inspiration in the comic/videos/links mentioned before.

Secondly, you have to decide HOW you are going to do it. Here you have some ideas: posters, videos, short film, comics, radio programs, survey, stopmotion animation, musical show, lipdub... for example, look at this lipdub on the right... can you organize something like this?:

Thirdly, yo have to plan WHEN and WHERE are you going to do it. This is a matter of organization. It is also important to know WHO is going to do what: director, actor, writer, camera, designer... And if you want to get the help of other people or organizations. Check this:

This is when you actually shoot, record, cut, draw, play, write, or direct what you have planned. Remember to include your progress in your blog.

This is when you show your output to the world. Apart from your blog you can post in in the school''s blog, La Rotllana, the local media (TV, radio, press...), social networks, etc. Think BIG!

Good luck!

Here you have what the winners did last year. And also some more inspiration!

Celebration of Europe's Day (9 May) at school:

Get inspired:;;

25 Useful Brainstorming Techniques


ESO2: Means of transport

How do you get to places? Check this vocabulary and try the execrcises and games!

Watch this video. It's a children's song about transports, can you spot them?

Match with the colours:

-A yellow... SCHOOL BUS
-A (bright) red...
-A (shiny) pink...
-A (long) blue...
-A (little) green...
-A (big) white...
-A (fast) orange ...
-Two purple ...

What is the opposite of the adjectives in brackets?
Are these means of transport QUIET or NOISY?

Finally, can you identify the ones in the picture? Which is the fastest? And the longest?


ALL: Women's Day

Did you know that...
Women's suffrage in New Zealand was an important political issue in the late 19th century. Of countries presently independent, New Zealand was the first to give women the vote in modern times(*).

We celebrate Women's Day around the world at school. Here you have a webquest related to this topic to learn more about it: when and where could vote before the 20th century, or where they can't vote yet in the 21st century! Be curious, reflect, think critically, react and... Enjoy!

*For more info on women's suffrage in NZ visit visit:'s_suffrage_in_New_Zealand

EXTRA: SONG: Fill in the gaps exercise "Man, I Feel Like A Woman!" by Shania Twain:


ESO2: Write a film review

We will watch a film this week. Can you recognise the film genres of these two movies?

While watching the films. Take notes on these aspects:

  The type of film 
  When / Where it takes place 
  Why you liked it 
  Your opinion of the music 
  Your favourite actors 
  The best part of the film 
  The ending 

Then write a critical review of the film following the example of the digital book: 

The 86th Oscar Academy Awards are coming! Check the different categories for the nominees and translate them. 

Awards categories LINK


ALL: Back to school! First day starters for the year. Games and assessment criteria.

Ice-breakers for our first day at school!
Activities to start using and improving your English in a fun way.

ESO1 and 2:
  • PASS THE BALL and introduce yourself. IN PAIRS: You can ask several questions to your classmate and then talk about him or her to the class.
  • MYSELF CARD. Draw yourself and fill in the gaps completing the sentences: My name is... I'm ... years old. I'm from ... I live in...  You can expand your information: My favourite animal/singer/subject is... I can speak... I like/I don't like... 
  • GAME: End up with a game: stand up and form a circle, and each student say a word related to a topic (e.g. SUMMER). When a student says a word that does not fit or remains silent, sits down and gets eliminated. The last one standing up is the winner.
  • An extra activity could be to intorudce basic instructions in English and hang a poster withe them, e.g.: How do you say ... in English?

ESO3 and 4:

  • ASK ATTACK: Draw a big question mark and let students ask you questions. Write them down to ellicit error correction (sentence structure)-, other students can help in the right word order/grammatical correction.
  • LIE DETECTOR: You say three sentences about yourself, two are true, one is false. The class have to guess which one is the lie. The more surprising your true sentences are, the better! If you have proof of it, show them! E.g.:
  1. I have been to Greece, Iceland and India this summer. 
  2. I have learnt Nepalese language.
  3. I have been parachuting.
  • GUESS WHO: in this case, your teacher asks you to write an anecdote about your (e.g. this summer) or a hobby you have, and collects them from you. Then, they are read loud and the class have to guess who is the person who wrote it.
NOTE FOR TEACHERS: It is important to set the assessment criteria in the first day, too. Make it in a clear and concise way, but make all the information available. They can be asked to be the markers of a particular text (written or oral) to experience the way the teacher is going to mark compositions or oral skills.

Exemplify compositions with a good layout and a really bad one to exaggerate the contrasts and make clear what is the model to follow. For the oral skills, we can try with this video about the trending topic speech by Ana Botella at the Olympic Games candidate cities final presentation (this is a parody with the transcription of the way it sounds in 'her' Spanglish speech).  We can invite students to reflect about pronunciation in a fun way. What would they correct about pronunciation?

40% Procedures (what you do: compositions, speaking, listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary)
30% Concepts (what you know: written tests, oral tests)
30% Habits (how you do it: homework, dossiers/portfolio, punctuality)

Written compositions:           Speaking:                        Reading:
Pr. Presentation 20%                Pronunciation 25%             2nd ESO Short stories
Acc. Accuracy 20%                  Accuracy 25%                   3rd ESO Short stories
Fl. Fluency 20%                        Fluency 25%                     4th ESO Romeo and Juliet
Str. Structure 20%                    Acting 25%                        + Voluntary reading
Or. Originality 20%


ESO1, 3 and 4: Summer Homework

Dear students,

You have already got your summer homework dossier. 

Dossier for ESO1 is pretty easy to follow and review the contents we have seen during the year. Remember you can find different games and fun activities here: Try at least one of them and you can comment it on when you come back! It's a webpage from the USA so you can learn more about the 4th of July as well (Independence Day).

ESO3 (and ESO4 if you sit September exams)

For year 3 and 4 you have a dossier with the following contents:

a) Vocabulary exercises (two pages)
b) Grammar exercises (two pages)
c) A song

For a) and b) write your answers in pen on the dossier and write on a separate sheet the exercises that don't fit on the page. In the b) section in the Listening exercise just translate the expression, and we will do the Speaking in class.

For the song, fill in the gaps while listening the song on Youtube, and complete the fact file. IMPORTANT: You have to look for another song you like and do a similar page:

1) Look for a song and the lyrics (look at and remove five or seven words (pùt the in a box)
2) Include a picture of the singer
3) Research his/her biography and make an exercise like the FACT FILE.
4) Translate the song.

I hope you enjoy the activity AND MAKE YOUR BEST THIS SUMMER!
Best wishes,