2nd Course – Education and Information – Grammar

As much as I love the video series in this course, I must admit to one issue that another teacher brought to my attention some years ago. The grammar is at a lower level than one would expect. This is especially true in this story about Tony Park and his struggles to keep his sandwich shop. The story was placed as the last story, but considering the grammar, I sometimes think it should have been the first story. WH-Questions and prepositions are fairly low-level grammar points. So I am motivated to provide some links that will provide more practice for your students in the grammar points of the stories.

I thought it would be easier if I put my grammar suggestions for all 4 units of a video story in a single post. It makes the post long, but let’s see if this works for you.  At least you’ll have all the grammar in one place so you can always go back and have students review anything they may have missed in previous episodes of the story.

17: Accessing Learning Opportunities – WH-Questions

The first activity is based on the 3 Bears story, so you may want to be sure your students are familiar with the story before sending them to this link. Make sure they understand that the sentence is the answer to the question and they must chose the WH-Question word  that would lead to that answer.  The second activity is a straight-forward MC activity and the third asks students to type the question.

Three Bears WH-Questions


Type the Question

For more practice on a variety of question forms go to the Road to Grammar site and scroll down the Quiz list to find:  #261 Question Forms 2  and  #262 Question Forms 3

 Road to Grammar


18: Involvement in Children’s Education – Prepositions

Here’s a quick little “type-in-the-answer” activity with 22 questions:

Type the Preposition

For a thorough review of prepositions and lots of exercises, send your students to the English Grammar online website.  There’s a very extensive table of prepositions and many MC exercises that get progressively more difficult at the bottom of the page.

Prepositions on ego4u

 Another good site from Germany offers type in the answer activities:

Prepositions in sentences

If you have students who really need a challenge beyond prepositions of time and place, move them into Phrasal Verb exercises.  They’ll have to type in the correct verb and preposition in the next link.

Phrasal Verbs


19: Transferring Professional Degrees – Past Tense Questions

Find a very easy 10-question MC activity: #214 Past Tense Question Form on the Road to Grammar site.

Road to Grammar

English Grammar Online has a detailed explanation of the past tense and there are lots of excellent exercises to choose from.  For past tense question formation, send students to these exercises: Questions in Simple Past or Questions with Interrogatives  in Simple Past or Pool of Exercises where they will choose Simple Past questions.

English Grammar Online

And again, Englisch-hilfen.de has good activities where students will have to type in the answer.

Questions in  Simple Past 1

Questions in Simple Past 2


20: Learning to Learn – Past Tense Verbs

The English Grammar Online link above is a great site for past tense practice. You can also click on the “Tests” tab on the left side of the page and the site offers 3 levels of tests on the Simple Past tense.

But for listening and speaking practice of the Past Tense, my favorite site is Real-English. Students see and hear real people speaking as they answer the question of what they did yesterday. The verbs are all pretty basic, but there are 19 pages of activities!

What did you do yesterday?



2nd Course – Housing and Family Life – Grammar

Students often ask for more grammar practice and here’s a site that will give them lots of activities.  I found activities that fit with the grammar covered in 3 of the units about the Pushkins, but students who like grammar can find many more hours of practice here. Give students the URL for roadtogrammar.com and suggest the following exercises for each unit. You might also wait till the last unit of this story and have students do all of them as a grammar review.

Managing Family LifeMust vs. Have to — Road to Grammar #72 (10 MC questions on DON’T HAVE TO or MUST NOT)

Using Information ServicesCan and Could  —  Road to Grammar #34  (25 multiple choice questions)

Men’s  Changing Roles – Make vs. Do  —  Road to Grammar #150 (Make or Do 10 questions) and #125 Household Chores (10 Questions)



This next 10-question exercise doesn’t really line up with the grammar lessons in this video story, but it provides students with more modal practice in sentences used in business situations. A good fit would be with Accessing Services when Karina needs to contact the phone company.

Telephone English

On the same site, there’s another activity for practicing the use of make vs. do to supplement the Men’s Changing Roles unit. These expressions go beyond just household chores. I always think having students write down new expressions and using them in sentences is a good way to help them remember these forms.

Make or Do


1st Course U18 – Adjectives, It’s vs. Its

In Vocabulary 2 of Unit 18, students learn to describe the condition of items in the home. This video below by Jennifer Lebedev or JenniferESL on YouTube would be a nice extension activity here. Jennifer describes animal toys and children’s books in her home.

Though adjectives are not the focus here, ask students to listen for and list the adjectives Jennifer uses and those they themselves might use to describe the teddy bear in the first segment of the video.  Jennifer then gives a clear explanation of the difference between It’s and Its and gives lots of examples (and lots more adjectives students could listen for) in the last part of the video.

This video, rich with visuals and language, is a great jumping-off point for discussion or writing topics (what is your child’s/your favorite toy/animal/book? What does it look like?; review of colors, parts of body, or even nationalities; review of possessive adjectives and pronouns) These can all relate back to the unit’s topic of furniture in the home as well. Teachers can do some great “language” mining with this kind of video. Thanks, Jennifer!

1st Course U10: Possessive Adj.& Pers. Pronouns

The unit 10 topic is School, but the characters in Usalearns talk about the people in school – my daughter’s school, her teacher, etc. To supplement the grammar instruction on possessive adjectives in Unit 10 of Usalearns, go to these links below at ego4u.com. While working on pronouns and possessive adjectives, students will also review family vocabulary from unit 9.  If students can navigate the Internet easily, start with the first link called Pronouns. First review the chart and then do the exercises on Personal Pronouns and Possessive adjectives.


For students who may get lost, here are separate links to each exercise:

Personal Pronouns – Subject Form

Possessive Adjectives

Here’s another online practice of possessive adjectives from  Adele’s ESL corner.

Possessive Adjectives 2




1st Course Unit 15 – Present Tense of Have

Unit 15 teaches the verb have to talk about body parts and health problems. Ventures Arcade offers more online practice of the verb have in this context.

Click the link below. Click Unit 4  Health. You will see 6 red boxes on the right. Click each box to do the activities.

Ventures Basic Unit 4 Health

For even more practice on Body Parts, have students click the B at the top to go to the Basic Level. The box turns orange.  Click Unit 4 Health in this Basic level and you’ll find 6 activities on parts of body and aches and pains.


1st Course U20: Present Continuous Review

Here’s a fun little video that illustrates some verbs that fit right in with the recreation topic of this unit. About half-way through the video students are asked to make present continuous sentences. Have students write two sentences, one affirmative and one negative, for each question. They should also use a contraction. They can either hand them in at your next meeting or email the answers to you.

(To embed this video on your class Web site, double-click the video. It will take you to Youtube for the embed info.)


After the fun video, here’s something that may not be as much fun.  It’s a test with multiple choice as well as type-in answers. Tell students to work carefully. Because it’s a test, they don’t get a second try once they click Check Answers at the end.

Present Progressive Test


1st Course U8: He likes to…

USAL Unit 8, Language Practice 1 presents the simple present tense using the verb like. There are a couple of video clips giving good examples of people expressing their likes and dislikes with listening and speaking practice.

This elcivics.com activity is a good reading with very simple sentences and pictures offering practice of the simple present form of like and a review of present continuous verbs. Read through the sentences with the students and clarify any questions they may have and prompt them to say whether they like to do each action.

Elicit more sentences from students by drawing conclusions with the information given.  e.g.  He likes to swim in warm water. He doesn’t like to swim in cold water. He likes to swim in a pool. He doesn’t like to swim in the ocean. You could also ask students to choose one of the pictures, give the person a name, and write about their likes and dislikes as if this was a friend of theirs, or pretend they are one of the people and write in the first person.

Thanks to Christina Niven and her elcivics site for being a perfect “partner in practice.” There are so many ways to use this valuable resource for extended practice.

Easy Picture Reading with “like to”