Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Why should I care?

I was at IATEFL this year again, for the second time presenting there! There were amazing talks and plenaries but there was one that I must point out here. Brita Fernandez Schmidt provided one of the most touching moments during the conference. She talked about how important it is to empower women that live in poverty and in conflict areas and also how important it is for men to acknowledge the role of their wives in their families and societies. 

I have a secret I woud like to share with you. I grew up in a family that was a little different from my friends families. My dad has always been unconventional, surrounded by women (my mom, my two sisters and I) he used to work a lot around the house, he used to cook, drive us to school, give love advice and so on. My mom had a nice job and she never gave up working for us. I can say that years ago in Brazil things were quite divergent from what I had inside my house. My mother taught me self-esteem, how to be competent and how important it is to have a career rather than a job. My mother also taught me that I should make my choices and be responsible for them. I grew up thinking all women were like that. She was my role model and then I got to see the world. It was hard for me to see men shouting at women because my mother never allowed my dad to do that. It was even harder for me to see men beating their wives and still living with them throughout their lives in a so-called marriage.

My dad used to tell me a story of his mom, my grandmother, who was also a very strong woman. One day, during her honeymoon, my grandfather hit her. She looked into his eyes and told him it was the last time he did it to her, because if he ever thought of doing that again she would pour boiling water into his ear. I know this is violent and we shouldn´t pay back but he NEVER EVER hurt her again. My other grandma, on the other side was a woman that had been raped and hit by her own husband for many years, when she turned 80 years old she finally had the guts to leave my grandfather and divorce. Unfortunately she died 4 years later.
My mother's father was an evil man (my mom disagrees and doesnt approve of me speaking ill of him), he cheated my grandmother and treated her like a slave with no rights. She had to hide food to feed her own children, she had to give birth to 11 kids and he never saw his own kids being born let alone help her with all the fussiness and trouble that a newlyborns bring.

I was talking to a very good friend of mine who managed to leave her abuser. It was not easy when she made up her mind and it is not easy now after amost 2 years. A woman who lives with an abuser will carry his marks, either physical or psychological, for many years and letting go of their grips can be the biggest challenge os a woman's life.

I am married now and not even for a second my husband thinks he can have more power in our relationship than I do. I thank my parents for raising me like that but there are many other women who don't feel they can stand up for themselves. Why should I care if I don't feel threatened by my husband or my daddy? Because there are women out there who do feel scared to say what goes on their minds and they are all my sisters and I must worry about them because I care!!!!

Why should I care? - SONG

Start the class asking students to make up sentences using the words below


If they cannot come up with one you can ask them to use these words in the appropriate gap.

Some _________ think they ________ a man so even after they had suffered _____________________. Although _____________ can be seen as something radical, it is important to understand that some _____________ still suffer a lot.

Listen to the song and write the opposite of the words in the blanks

Back in the day
When I was ____________ 
I wasn't __________
Of giving my heart to you
Now and again
I get sentimental
But I know it's just a phase I'm going through
And every time I start to slip
I just remind myself
I need only think of it
I went through so much _________
You say ya want to get things back
The way they used to be
Can you give me one good reason
Why should I darling
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care
Back in the day
I should of been wiser
But what can I say
I should of been onto you
But I was afraid
That you'd __________ my heart in two
Fate would have it that you broke it anyway baby
And every time I _____________ my eyes
I just remind myself
You told about a million lies
You put my heart through hell
And now you want to get with me
Just for old times sake
Well I am not about to make that same mistake
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care
You see a girl that you gave all your love
I see a girl you took advantage of
You see a girl that you cannot _________
I see a man that I cannot forgive
Tell me why
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care for you
Why should I care
Why should I care
Back in the day when I was young
I wasn't afraid to love
Back in the day
You were the one what was I thinking of
Back in the day
Should of been wiser
Should of been onto you
But I was afraid I make a mistake
No one knows

1- What is she afraid of?
2- What are you afraid of?
3- Have you ever met anyone who was afraid of someone else?

Wanna learn more? Click here to download the lesson plan

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What if...

What is Regret?

 VERB: - to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.)
NOUN -a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation
ex: I have had four acceptances and one regret.
(according to merriam webster dictionary)

Every now and then adults regret something they have done and wish they have done something different. I have some regrets. When I was 14 y.o. my parents sent me to Disney World and it was my first time abroad by myself, I was really excited and I didn´t want to come back home. I was really sad and  when my parents arrived at the airport to pick me up I didn´t hug them properly and I cried a lot. My mom had flowers to give me and I didn´t pay any attention to her.
I cannot go back in time and change it, so I had to live with it for a long time, I have apologized but I feel it is not enough, and never will be.

Ask students the following q´s
  • Do you believe in second chances? Why/not?
  • Do you think life gets easier or more difficult as you get older? Why?
  • If you could erase one major regret from your mind, would you want to? Why/not?

  • If you died tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret?
  • What is the worst decision that you have ever made in your life? Why is it so terrible?
  • What do you wish you had tried or done when you were younger? Why?
  • What do you hope to do at some point in the future? Why?
  • If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? Why?
  • What would you think about a person who had no regrets? Please explain.

  • Have you ever regretted a job or career choice?
  • Have you ever regretted dating someone?
  • Have you ever regretted buying something?
Adapted from:

Discuss the two sentences below:

What are the 5 regrets they mention?
Do you share the same regrets? Woud you add something else? Why?

My Way
And now, the end is ________ (opposite to far)
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it _________ (opposite to dirty)
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's ____________ (opposite of empty)
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you __________ (simple past of know)
When I bit off more than I could  _____________ (what you do before you swallow the food|)
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and __________ it ________ (when children dont like what they are eating)
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say - not in a ________ way (opposite of extrovert)
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way
For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way
start at 3:20

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why should I change?

Everybody has a friend who never seems to get older. I had one like that too. I met her on the very first day at University, we had the same name and last name (this one she gave up after getting married). Patricia did not seem to be an adult. Everytime we facebooked she always talked about the same people and the same things. She had a job she was not happy with, she lived in a city she did not like very much and still her life remained the same until she died. She passed away last week, I keep thinking about her all the time. I cry and pray that she understands she had to leave this planet. She was too good to be surrounded by us. She did not know she was going to die that day during that simple surgery, of course nobody knows, but still the last thing she wrote was that she had arrived at the hospital and there were reporters from a tv channel talking about a person who had died there the night before.
I will miss her unchangeable way, miss the same old stories and the same old songs.  The fear of a small or huge change can keep you in a prison. I am afraid of changing things I am not too happy with, I am afraid of moving to a better place, I am afraid of quitting a job I do not like. I may be dead tomorrow and honestly I dont want to die knowing I should have tried but I was too afraid .

This lesson is about changing and why people are afraid of it.
Hope you like it.
In memory of my dearest friend Patricia Ferreira (born Patricia Santos Ferreira). I loved you deeply.


Start the class by writing the word CHANGE and ask students to brainstorm ideas about change. If they do not come up with fear write beside the word change the word fear. Ask them how both words are connected.

Tell students they are going to discuss some sentences. These sentences were taken from this Text. Print it out or share the link with them.

1-"...your mind fears the unknown because it considers what is known to be far safer. You might not like it but at least it's familiar and you know what to expect. As for the unknown, your imagination will come up with dozens of potential things to fear about that." 

(share a moment that you gave up changing something because you feared the unknown)

2-" There is no wrong decision, there’s just different opportunities. It makes it far easier to face the unknown if you think of all your options as exciting and worthwhile.
 (share a moment you had to keep positive before a major change)

3-"When you're contemplating making a life change, the next fear you'll most likely start to consider is whether you'll be able to do it. If you start to compare yourself to others already doing what you want to do, you may start to think, "I'd never be able to do that. That's too much."
(share a moment you thought you were unable to do something)

4- "Sometimes when you're going through challenging times you tend to feel isolated like you're the only person in the world going through this decision. You feel you need outside reassurance that you’re doing the right thing. You’ll ask everyone for their opinion so you don’t have to take responsibility for making the decision."
(how often do you ask people their opinion before making a decision?)

5-"Sometimes when you’re trying to make a big decision, you think you only have one choice if you don’t want to accept the current situation. For example, you can stay in a job you hate or you can quit and be unemployed. And if you’re like me you’ll add things like “unemployed and starving to death and I'll never be able to find another job.”
(tell abt one day you had to make a decision and you could only see one option)

6-" We tend to focus on external things to define our identity and worth (what kind of job we do, what kind of possessions we have, how much we make). We put an emotional weight on stuff like this. If we don’t have the latest t.v. system, we feel like a failure. We can also fear the risk of losing all our possessions. It’s who we are."
(share you most valuable possession and the thing that matters the most to you)

Ask students the following questions:

1- What does break mean?
2- What does break up mean?
the definition is here
3- Ask students if they know other phrasal verbs with break
more examples here

Break away (run away, get loose or escape)
The boy tried to break away but his mother snatched his shirt.
The horse has broken away from its stable.
The cyclist broke away from the pack.
Break down (fail, collapse, go out of working order, give into tears)
She broke down during the speech. (= She collapsed.)
We couldn’t reach in time because the car broke down. (= The car stopped working.)
The vacuum cleaner has broken down.
Break into (enter by force)
The burglars broke into the shop and looted it.
Break off (stop suddenly)
John Bright broke off in the middle of his speech. (= He stopped suddenly.)
Break open (open by force)
As no one opened the door, we decided to break it open.
Break through (make a way through, overcome obstacles)
His will power helped him break through all obstacles. (= He succeeded in overcoming all obstacles.)
Break up (come to an end, disperse)
The conference broke up at 10 pm. (= The conference came to an end at 10 pm.)
The police broke up the crowd. (=The police dispersed the crowd.)

Ask students to complete with the right phrasal verb

1- The student was really a troublemaker. When the teacher told him he could not get into the class, he just tries to break the window _______.

2-  After trying to forgive her for everything she has done, he decided to break ________ with her and find someone new.

3- She was walking and then suddenly she broke _______ when she saw her neighbor on the floor.

4- I cannot find her dog, it broke _________ last night.


- Have you ever wanted to break away?
Complete the missing parts with the prepositions below:
UP (2X) - AWAY (2X) - DOWN - UNDER - OUT (2X) - ON (4X)

Grew ______in a small town
And when the rain would fall _______
I'd just stare out my window
Dreamin' of what could be
And if I'd end _______ happy
I would pray
Trying hard to reach ______
But when I tried to speak ________
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I pray
I could break _________
I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget all the ones that I love
I'll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Want to feel the warm breeze
Sleep ______ a palm tree
Feel the rush of the ocean
Get _____board a fast train
Travel on a jet plane
And breakaway
I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
I won't forget all the ones that I love
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Buildings with a hundred floors
Swinging 'round  revolvin' doors
Maybe I don't know where they take me
But gotta keep movin' ______
Movin' _____
Fly ________
I'll spread my wings, and I'll learn how to fly
Though it's not easy to tell you goodbye
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget the place I come from
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway

Find the video here

Describe the video

Monday, January 8, 2018

New Years Resolution

Now the end is near and so I face the final curtains....
So guys, 2017 is over and we are ready for a new beginning.
I do not know about you guys, but every January I feel refreshed and full of dreams and hope. I usually start a list with the goals for the year to come, but usually this list is lost by February. This year I want to make it differently. First of all I will share  my list with you, so I will not lose it. Then, I will do my best to really have accomplished everything by December.

Let's start with my list and you may share yours if you feel like too.
1- Spend less time on social networks, such as instagram and facebook;
2- Have fewer face to face students and more online ones;
3- Learn how to edit videos and start my own youtube channel;
4- Spend more time with my family and friends;
5- Travel to somewhere I have never been.
Do you think I am setting high expectations and that I  might get frustrated for not accomplishing them?

Before you decide on your own list tell me what the most common resolutions are:
Which of those are the most difficult to keep throughout the year? Why is that?
You will find an article here that explains a little bit about giving up our resolutions. 

One of my hobbies is watching tv and I do believe I have to avoid it a little more this year, but meanwhile I want to share this friends episode on new Years resolutions.

What is Ross' resolution? Share 3 things you have never done and explain why you would like to try it this year.

Monday, October 23, 2017


It is hard when you get hit by shocking news, but then you end up having 2 ways to go. You can either stay home and get depressed about it, or you can work hard and change your mind. Being positive about something negative is not always easy, but again, either you cry or you act. What kind of person are you?
lesson plan - to be continued..

Monday, September 11, 2017


What makes a person a hero? My teenager daughter is crazy about super heroes, she loves spiderman and the flash. I started thinking about the role of these guys in our lives. We are always waiting for someone to rescue us or save us from something, even if this something is ourselves.
I have 2 sisters, a mom and my dad is the only man in the family. As I was growing up I saw the real hero was not someone from the movies or the comics. Not a person who could fly. But a super hero was someone that helped me understand my position in this world. My dad talks to us about everything, about our feelings, about our dreams and goals. It is pretty close to being a superhero to me. What about you?

lesson plan

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Father X Daddy

It was father's day in Brazil last Sunday. I am crazy about my daddy but I know some people hold a grudge when it comes to their own dad. This lesson plan is for low intermediate students who need some extra practice on simple past

Lesson plan