Posted 4/9/07
This activity has been designed for beginners. It uses a video clip to drill three different tenses: Present simple, past simple and present continuous. The main activity requires nothing but repeated call and response (teacher calls, students respond). The aim is for students to practice the sounds of these three structures.
  • Language level: Beginner; Elementary (A1; A2)
  • Learner type: Young learners; Teens, Adults; CLIL
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Activity: Grammar drill
  • Topic: Animals & advertising; Science
  • Language: Present simple; Past simple; Present continuous
  • Materials: Video; Worksheet
Superchill orangutan: Lesson plan pdf [downloaded 8390 times] Superchill orangutan: Slideshow pdf [downloaded 5813 times]

Lesson plan outline

  1. Write the following verb items on the board:
  2. Leave; Take; Get on; Listen to; Send; Post;
    Wait for; Cross; Give; Look over; Go into;
    Take off; Monkey around; Put back on; Eat
  3. Tell your students that they are going to see a video clip in which an actor goes for an audition in Hollywood. Using the verbs that you have written on the board as prompts, get your students to repeat all of the sentences below after you. Use gesture to clarify meaning whenever possible.
  4. * First he leaves his apartment.
    * Then he takes the lift downstairs.
    * He gets on the bus.
    * He listens to his iPod.
    * He sends a text.

    * He posts some letters.

    * He waits for the lights to change.

    * He crosses the road.
    * He gives his photo to the receptionist.
    * He looks over his lines.
    * He goes into the audition room.

    * He takes off his clothes.

    * He monkeys around.
    * He puts his clothes back on.
    * He eats a sandwich.

    NB Your students will want to know the meaning of ‘monkey around‘. Encourage them to guess and tell them that all will become clear when they see the clip.

  5. Show the clip. Note that until this stage, students should have been unaware that the actor is an orangutan.
  6. Tell your students that they are going to repeat the drill but this time they are going to say what happened (i.e. in the past tense). Perhaps ask students to imagine that Super Chill is telling his friend about the day he had. Go over the 15 verbs and elicit the past forms before using them as prompts for the sentences.
  7. * First he left his apartment.
    * Then he took the lift downstairs.
    * He got on the bus.
    * He listened to his iPod.
    * He sent a text.

  8. Use the 15 images in the PDF slideshow (download included above) to elicit and drill present continuous sentences. In each case, drill the present continuous sentences after asking: What is he doing here? / What is happening here?
  9. * He’s leaving his apartment.
    * He’s taking the lift downstairs.
    * He’s getting on the bus.
  10. Give out copies of the handout (included in the lesson plan download) and ask students to fill in the missing verbs. This serves to provide students with a record of the language.

Follow ups

  • The advert on YouTube is inaccurately titled ‘Super Chill Monkey’ (orangutans are apes, not monkeys). Ask students to write a fictitious letter from Super Chill to the advertising company to complain. The letter should explain the difference between a monkey and a chimpanzee. Super Chill should explain why it is important to get it right. Alternatively, this activity could have a legal theme – it could come from Super Chill’s lawyer.
  • Use the clip for the basis of a webquest. Get your learners to find out more about orangutans. Where do they live? What do they eat? Etc.
  • Some people may feel that the orangutan in the advert is being exploited cruelly. This may be an interesting issue to explore. Use the clip to introduce a discussion on the topic of animal exploitation for entertainment purposes.
Posted 4/9/07

32 Responses to Super chill orangutan

  1. Laura Green says:

    Looks good, will try out on Monday with learners. thanks for lesson. Love your new site.

  2. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Laura. It would be great to hear how it goes. Good luck :-)

  3. Laura Green says:

    I tried out this lesson with 16-19’s and with adults. Both groups lilked this lesson. It wasn’t long enough to fill my lesson time. However, I included a wordle with the verbs which are used in the lesson and added a few more. The students had to find the past and present tenses of these and this filled out my lesson time. The students really liked the video and I would use this again.

  4. Jamie Keddie says:

    Great feedback Laura. Thanks for that.
    By the way, did you know that you can make phrase clouds on Wordle by inserting the ~ character between words. Here is onr that I made for this activity. You’ll see what I mean.

  5. Richard says:

    I’ve used this lesson (with on the fly tweaks as necessary) in 4 different classes this week, including Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Int, adults and a private class with a teenager. It worked lovely every time – cheers mate, I’ll be stopping by here regularly to see what’s available for poaching…

  6. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Richard
    Thanks for the feedback. Very interesting that you managed to use it for so many different levels
    Keep on tweaking and poaching!
    Jamie :-)

  7. DavidMearns says:

    Hi Jamie, I want to say how great this new website is. I too am a grammar teacher (primarily involved with ICT & Grammar) and on watching your ISTEK video interview I totally concur with your thoughts on the music world. I have been experimenting this year with ways to make the grammar lesson more interesting and now students want it more than anything else, just with visuals, music and practice drills, quizzes etc. I am currently builidng my new webdesign and would love to collaborate with you making even more ideas available Thanks for your inpsiration here, I will get back in touch with you via Twitter when I can hopefully share some more ideas with you and teh ELT-world of teachers who need to start engaging themselves and their students more effectively–it is definitely possible, cheers min

  8. DavidMearns says:

    I just noticed a comment about Wordle, which unfortunately has been taken down as its under attack by the courts for samename use. So, I found this really simple alternative which is meant for young learners, although I don’t know why(?). It is which is simply fabulously easy to use. I had 26 14.5 yr olds hooked within 30 secs and they produced their own clouds from their third draft essays within 5 mins. Brilliant technology and once mounted on card and put on the wall, it is a timely reminder to students about how good their work and progress looks to others. Another insipirational Web 2.0 beauty…

  9. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello David
    Thanks for the comments. Really good to hear from you
    Sorry I missed your talk at Istek – it sounded right up my street. Hope to get the opportunity to see you present it soon. Iatefl?
    Good luck with the project. Look forward to seeing it.
    Jamie :)

  10. Helena Serdoura says:

    Dear Jamie,
    It is thanks to Danielas Arghir eTwinning Learning Event that I came acquainted with your fantastic work! I haven’t use much video in my language classes and when I do is for publishing students work. So this is a newly experience to me and I plan to use this lesson, adapted to my pupils needs, when we return back from Easter break.
    I am planning to use it as present simple and present continuous revision and introduction to the past simple.
    Great work! Thank you!
    Kind regards,
    Helena Serdoura

  11. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you for the comment Helena
    Enjoy the holidays. Good luck with the activity when you get back.
    Jamie :-)

  12. Adam Beale says:

    I have used this lesson a few times now and it has worked really well. To make the lesson longer and to practice the present continuous Iused the video for the ´Procrastination´ lesson with the sound turned off, and got the students to give me a running commentary on what was happening.
    Love this site. Keep up the good work.

  13. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Adam
    Really appreciate your feedback. Thanks for sharing the procrastination video idea.
    Jamie :-)

  14. Natalie says:


    Thanks for the great ideas. I used this with an Entry 2 ESOL class to make talking about daily routines a bit more interesting. I gave them a picture of an orangutan firstly and asked them to imagine his daily routine and then compare it to what they saw.
    We will revisit it when moving onto past simple and present continuous.
    Thanks a lot


  15. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Natalie
    I like that idea – it is a complete reversal of the way I planned it and it still has a surprise for students. Thank you for sharing it.
    Jamie :-)

  16. Patricia says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this lesson plan. I’m a speech-language therapist and my students (native English speakers with language disorders) loved this! I tweaked it a bit and was able to use it to work on several targets. Great idea!

  17. Pingback: THE STUFF OF LIFE

  18. Hi Jamie,

    I’m a fan of your wonderful lessons and have done the same idea with a different video called The Stuff of Life, which you can see above. Just wanted to thank you again for all your “life-saving” lessons.


    Nick Kerrell

  19. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Nick
    Thanks for sharing. Great to see how you have applied the technique. And a good choice of clip!
    Jamie :-)

  20. Patricia says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Jamie. I really enjoyed your presentation in Mendoza.
    I used this activity with my pre-intermediate adult students and they loved it. I gave them slips of paper with the rest of the sentences after the verbs and I started telling the story (miming included) waiting for each student to contribute with the remaining part of the sentence and then I asked them to repeat the whole story. It’s funny becau n the second time with no problems and these are sts who are reluctant to speak more often than not. When you get them involved like that, it’s easy to learn anything.
    So there, thanks again.

  21. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Patricia
    Thnk you for your comment and thank you for your variation idea. This is topical because I am in Indonesia, home of orangutans and had to use this activity. Hope all is well in Mendoza and hope to come back soon
    Jamie :)

  22. Dee Meisa says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful lesson in Atmajaya Univ.,Jakarta. I was there, left front row, pink veil..hope you remember. :)

    So, last Sunday I had the chance to use this video to drill the three tenses in my private English class. It was very helpful since my student is quite hmm forgetful I may say in the grammar parts.
    We did the drill the same as you showed me in Jakarta. In addition I used flashcards of images to practice also the negatives and questions forms. I did this orally. I asked questions like “Does she eat banana? did she eat banana? Is she eating banana?”. At first I had to help her answering the questions, but in no time she was doing OK. I also had her doing the vice versa. At the end of the lesson she said she liked it and it was cool.

    I’m still looking forward to use this video and other video for my English course classes. So Thank you.


  23. Jamie Keddie says:

    Ahh, the pink veil girl!
    Nice to see you here Dee. Thank you or your comment and for sharing your variation of the activity.
    Hope all is well in Jakarta.
    Jamie :)

  24. Jane says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Great lesson plan. Love the idea of using ads for esl lessons. I am a trainee teacher so do not know much yet lol is it possible to change this lesson to incoporate past continuous? any ideas???? sorry for the dumb question, quick reply appreaciated

  25. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Jane
    Nice to hear from you. That’s not a dumb question!
    I am sure that it would be possible to use the activity to teach the present perfect. At the very beginning of the lesson, you could assign a time (i.e. a time of the day) to each action. For example:

    09.00 he leaves his flat
    09.01 he takes the lift downstairs
    09.07 he gets on the bus
    09.14 he sends a text

    Then, you could have a quiz – what was Superchill doing at 09,11? Etc.

    That might work.
    All the best
    Jamie :)

  26. Joleen says:

    Dear Jamie,
    my pupils say this was super chill. It’ s nice way to learn when to use the tenses. Everybody wants a monkey like that ( their own words). We are class 3A1 from the Reitdiep college ,Groningen, the Netherlands. Keep going!

  27. Jamie Keddie says:

    Yes – I am hoping to get one for Christmas!
    Nice to meet you and your class Joleen
    Jamie :)

  28. Claudia says:

    Excellent clip to teach or revise tenses.I have just used it with a group of teens.They had a lot of fun while learning .I think my students won´t forget this experience.Great idea!
    Thank you very much for your brilliant ideas.These lesson plans add variety and motivation to my classes.A different way to teach and learn and a way to break with the traditional and boring methods.
    Best regards.

  29. Jamie Keddie says:

    Happy to hear it Claudia
    Thanks your nice feedback!
    Jamie :)

  30. Catherine Armstrong says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I’ve used this lesson several times now with different age groups and they’ve all loved it. With the teenage groups I get them to do a webquest about orangutans afterwards. A quick search on the internet brings up several but I do a brain storming session with them to get each pair to add there own questions. They can either do the quest as home work or sometimes I get them to use their mobiles in class to find the answers. They love using their phones during a class.
    Thanks again Cath

  31. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Catherine
    Thanks for sharing this
    I was in Borneo last year the highlight of the my trip was seeing Orangutans. Did your students discover that the words comes from the Malay language and mean ‘Forest person’? I quite liked that. But I think that I also like the video in this activity a bit less after that!
    Thanks for your comment
    Jamie :)