In the BrainPOP ESL movie, It’s Nice, Isn’t It? (L1U5L2), Ben and Moby shop for a birthday gift for Ed, and discuss what to buy, using tag questions. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students identify tag questions in the present tense, match tag questions to sentences, and explain how the animations define the grammar topic.
- Match tag questions to sentences.
- Rephrase tag questions.
- Explain how the animations represent the grammar topic.
Preparation:Print and cut out a set of the Tag Questions Sentence Strips for each pair of students.
- That’s Not True, Is It? Divide the class into pairs. Have each student come up with three statements about him or herself. Two of the statements should be true and one not true. Partners have to guess which statement is not true by asking a tag question. Model the procedure first, with statements about yourself. For example, tell the class: I’m a great dancer. I have a cat. I speak Chinese. Invite students to ask you tag questions, such as: You don’t speak Chinese, do you? Students continue to ask tag questions until the untruth is revealed. Then have partners take turns asking tag questions of each other to find the statement that's not true.
- Sentence Strip Match Up. Distribute a set of the Tag Questions Sentence Strips to each pair of students. Give them time to match each base sentence with its associated tag question. When they have finished, have them sort the sentences into two categories: sentences with the verb to be, and sentences with all other verbs. To review, have students share their results with the class, and discuss any patterns they notice.
- Say it a Different Way. On a repeated viewing of the movie It’s Nice, Isn’t It? (L1U5L2), ask students to raise their hands each time they hear a tag question. Pause the movie and ask students to suggest a different way to ask the same question. For example, This is a nice telescope, isn’t it? can be rephrased as Isn’t this a nice telescope? Or You don’t like it, do you? can be said as Do you like it?
- Facts to Know. Show Facts to Know. Pause after a few examples and do a Think-Pair-Share . Ask students to explain how this Facts to Know visually represents the grammar of tag questions. They should notice how the opposites (black and white; plus and minus; positive and negative; two sides of the screen) illustrate the fact that tag questions are the opposite of the base sentence. Students may continue watching examples, if needed. Give partners time to think, talk about their ideas, and then share with the class.