Language and Content: Infinitives

GRADES 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Basic Probability Basic Probability


Battleship Numberline

Dig It

Flower Power


Students will:
  1. Array the vocabulary words according to degree of probability.
  2. Match sentence halves with verbs and expressions that go with infinitives.
  3. Explain the probability problems that are illustrated in the movie.


General Vocabulary
chance (n) few (adj) likely (adv)
coin (n) gum (n) same (adj)
convince (v) improve (v)

Content Vocabulary
add (v) increase (v) percent (n, adj)
subtract (v) decrease (v) probability (n)
total (n) fraction (n)

  • BrainPOP ESL, BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr
  • Visuals to reinforce the new vocabulary
  • Flashcards of the designated vocabulary words about probability
  • Sentence Strips
  • Hear It, Say It Gap-fill activity
  • Poster boards and/or card stock to illustrate the vocabulary
  • Interactive white board (optional)
  • Gather visuals to help reinforce the vocabulary words.
  • Prepare cards of the vocabulary words: impossible, possible, likely, unlikely, probable, certain.
  • Print and cut out the sentence strips from the Grammar section. Make a set for each pair of students.
  • Print a copy of the Hear It, Say It Gap-fill activity for each student.
  • Print the Word Analogy sentences or write them on the board.



  1. Watch the Vocabulary movie to introduce the new words, stopping to ask questions, give examples, and ask students to make connections to the words.
  2. Introduce the concept of probability with a real life situation. For example, flip a coin and ask what the chances are that it will come out heads. Or, place the coin in one hand, and put both hands behind your back. Ask one student to guess which hand it is in. Ask what the chances are that he’ll choose the right hand, and write chance on the board. Now bring up two students, putting the coin in one of their hands, and have a new student guess where it is. What are her chances of finding it? Finally, ask a new student to close his eyes or step outside while you place the coin in one student’s hand. Ask the new student to guess where it is among all the students in the class. Will he find the coin? Probably not. What’s the probability that he’ll find it?
    Ask students to Think-Pair-Share to define the word probability.
  3. Have the words impossible, possible, likely, unlikely, probable, certain on cards, and ask students to arrange them in order of degree of probability.
  4. Describe brief situations and ask students to designate which of the previous words apply. For example: weather forecast, elections, going out on a picnic, etc. Alternatively, have students think of, or draw pictures of situations.
  5. Project the picture side of Flash Words onto the board or interactive white board. Students label the words they know and then flip the pictures to check if they are correct.


  1. Watch the Grammar movie.
  2. Do a Sentence Strip activity to practice using verbs and expressions that go with infinitives. Students work in pairs to match the sentence halves. To differentiate, give students blank strips to write the 2nd half of the sentences. Some examples of sentence strips are:

My mother asked me to help her.
Do you agree to go with me?
She convinced me to go to the party.
Have you decided to come with us?
We hope to see you there
They plan to have a party.
You promised to play with me.
Remind me to bring my books.
She told us not to arrive late.
Do you want to sit here?


  1. Tell the students that in the movie A High Probability (L3U4L3), Ben and Moby use probability to figure out a problem. Ask students to predict what the problem might be.
  2. During the first viewing, pause the movie at points for students to predict what they think will probably happen next. Possible places to pause:
    a. When Moby stops at the gumball machine.
    b. When Ben tells Moby that there are two ways of improving his chances of getting an orange gumball.
    c. When Moby pleads with Ben to wait with him for people to come and buy gumballs.
    d. When the probability changes to 20%, and then Ben asks Moby if he wants to take a chance and hope for an orange gumball.
    Alternatively, pause the movie each time the probability changes, and ask students to explain the math before Ben does.
  3. In a repeated viewing, pause the movie right after Ben says sentences with verbs that go with infinitives (and before he says the infinitives). Be sure to turn closed captions off. Ask students to finish the sentences. For example, Ben says, ““You need ________________.”


  1. Watch Hear It, Say It. Students may listen and repeat sentences from the movie.
  2. Use the Hear It, Say It feature for a gap-fill activity (found below). Students fill in the missing words and then listen to check their answers. To differentiate, provide a word bank.
  3. Students do the remaining interactive features of the lesson: Play It, Warm Up, and You Can Do It.

Hear It, Say It Gap-fill
1. You need _______ a coin.
2. Do you really think you’re _____________ enough to get an orange gumball on your first try?
3. Probability is how possible, ____________________, it is that something will happen.
4. We need _________ all of the gumballs first.
5. One fourth is a ______________, and 25 percent is the ___________________.
6. You want ______________ your chances of getting an orange gumball?
7. We either need to ___________ the number of orange gumballs or________________ the number of green ones.
8. OK, Moby, you’ve ______________________ with you.
9. Good for you, Moby. You ________________________, and you were right.

  • Have students create their own flash cards to illustrate and define the vocabulary words: fraction, percent, total, increase, decrease, add, subtract. Partners can play a matching or memory game. Or have groups work on posters to illustrate the words. Each group will collaborate on one word/poster, combining all of their cards for that word.
  • Create a Word Wall of math-related words. Add to it whenever students encounter a new word.
  • Do a Word Analogy activity with the new words. Partners complete the sentences, discussing the relationships among the words. After you have gone over the five sentences and the different relationships, the partners collaborate on three additional sentences, using any words they wish. They may click on the Word Lists button in any BrainPOP ESL lesson for a list of all the words they have learned.
Word Analogies
Add is to subtract as ______________ is to decrease.
Dog is to animal as _____________ is to money.
________________ is to whole as same is to different.
Many is to more as ________________ is to less.
Probable is to _______________ as percent is to percentage.