What’s the future of baby boomers? (verb patterns)

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Verb patterns (gerund vs infinitive)

verb patterns


This ESL lesson plan is based on the video from Bloomberg titled “Will the Baby Boomers Ever Retire?”. It concerns a significant issue of the retirement of baby boomers, that is a generation born between 1946 and 1964. The lesson itself involves a discussion on retirement and pension as well as a grammar point, i.e. verb patterns exercises.

B2 / Upper Intermediate75 minStandard LessonPremium Plan


Baby boomers might not be a familiar term for all of your students so start the lesson by eliciting names of different generations and trying to define what their birth years / their differences are. The worksheet starts with an exercise which includes such words and phrases as savings, afford, birth rate, etc. Students need to match questions with answers – it should help them to understand the meanings of the words and phrases. This prepares them for next exercises as all the vocabulary comes from the Bloomberg’s video. Then, they answer the same questions expressing their own ideas. Next, they watch the video and decide, based on what they hear, whether the given sentences are true or false. They should correct sentences which are false. After checking their answers, you may want to have a quick discussion about the issues from the video as a post-watching task; however, do not go into the topic of retirement age to deeply (see Debate Time).


The next part of the lesson plan is on grammar. It starts with a verb patterns exercise in which students have to group verbs which are followed by gerunds or infinitives. Before doing this task, it is advised to elicit some sample sentences. Go for the most commonly used verbs such as like, want or finish. Check this task with the whole class so that you are sure that all students have categorized verbs correctly. In order to practise them, students move to the second verb patterns exercise. They need to finish some sentences with their own ideas, remembering to use correct verb patterns. If you want, you can use this task for oral practice too, e.g. make students compare their sentences and ask each other follow-up questions, e.g. Why are you frustrated when your co-workers fail to meet deadlines?


The last activity is a debate which can be done in pairs or groups. The topic is “The retirement age should be raised”. First, encourage your students to collect some arguments for and against the statement. You can help them by eliciting or providing some ideas that you can find on such websites as Debatewise.org or Debate.org. These websites are perfect for getting some inspirations for your lesson debates.


We’ve also brought to you some extra tasks that builds on the topic. Using the extra worksheet, you will teach your students some verbs  that change their meaning when they are followed by a gerund or an infinitive. On top of that, there are two oral practice activities that will allow students to use the newly acquired knowledge but also challenge them to use their critical-thinking skills! Discover the extra worksheet: Verb patterns – changes in meaning.



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Leave a Reply

  1. Holly

    Great! Love the extra worksheets. If you go to Youtube the video is there no problems. Thanks

  2. aeptto

    I loved it! I have used it with my students and it has been quite successful! Thank you for uploading such great materials.

    1. Justa

      Nice to hear that! Thank you!

  3. Kirsty

    Great lesson. In slide 16 ‘avoid’ is in the wrong column. Please could you do an advanced lesson for the more difficult rules of using articles?

    1. Justa

      Thanks for the comment! Just fixed the slide.
      A lesson plan on articles for advanced students is a really good idea! We’ll definitely think about it 🙂

  4. [email protected]

    Hi there

    When I try to play the video by clicking on the video box in slide 12, I get a message saying that video playing on other websites has been disabled.
    Could someone fix this? It’s a bit distracting for the students when I have to come out of the slide and go to Youtube…


    1. Stan

      Hi Paul! Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it. This video is not ours and if its author decided that you can only watch it directly on YouTube, then we must comply with this request.

  5. Magda Blaha

    Hello! 🙂 Sadly the YT video isn’t working anymore. 🙁

    1. Justa

      Hi! Actually, the video is working, but, as mentioned above, its author decided that you can only watch it directly on YouTube.

  6. Nicoli Munhato

    The video got unavailable 🙁

    1. Stan

      The video works but you need to watch it directly on YouTube. Just click the link (see the img below)
      image of youtube warning message for watching directly on YT

  7. Daria

    For some reason, it’s not possible to access the worksheets ?

    1. Justa

      We’ve just checked the worksheets and the e-lesson plan and everything works fine on our side. If you still can’t access them, please reach out to us via chat or at [email protected]

  8. Laura Howes

    Hi, there’s a problem with the link to the student’s version. It doesn’t open, it just takes you to the ‘my account’ page. Please fix! Thank you, Laura

    1. Stan

      Hi Laura, the problem is likely due to your cookies/cache data. Please open the website in Incognito mode, log in and see if you can access it then. Contact us later via chat or contact form so that we can help you find a permanent solution.

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