The story of Frida Kahlo (+ Advanced Tense Review)

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Grammar - narrative tenses review


advanced tense review


This flipped lesson plan is a bit different than others as it includes an interactive video with tasks that students need to do at home. It’s a nice way to motivate students to practice language (in this case, advanced tense review) using technology. The lesson plan touches upon the life of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who has been inspiring other artists and people all around the world.

B2 / Upper Intermediate
C1 / Advanced
30 minFlipped LessonUnlimited Plan

This is a Flipped Classroom lesson plan. In a nutshell, it means that the first part of the lesson needs to be done by students at home. Learn more about flipped classroom and how we implement it in these lesson plans in our post.


As part of their homework, students have a few tasks to complete. First, they need to acquire some vocabulary so that it is easier for them to listen to and understand the video. Exercise 1 includes nine sentences with some words in bold. Students have to match these words with their meanings provided. Of course, encourage them to look up some words in a dictionary if they feel that they don’t get them correctly. Then, they move to a task on collocations. There, students have to create collocations to discover how the words from ex. 1 can be used. Finally, students move to an interactive video with focus on advanced tense review. It includes 8 multiple choice questions which appear on the screen every few minutes. All the questions have a common denominator: they namely deal with narrative tenses. It means that students have to verify their knowledge of Past Simple, Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Present Perfect as well the “used to” structure.


The lesson starts with a task which aim is to check a bit students’ knowledge of Frida Kahlo’s life (based on the video they watched at home). Students need to read a few quotes by Frida Kahlo and discuss how they relate to her life. Encourage your students to give as many details as they can remember. After the discussion, they need to move to an exercise on vocabulary. They have to match basic adjectives with their more advanced (and stronger) equivalents. Very often these are the so-called non-gradable adjectives, so you might add some other related tasks on that topic. If you want to extend this task, you might as your students to think of any other adjectives to add. Finally, students have to use all the vocabulary they’ve learned during the lesson and describe Frida Kahlo’s paintings. You have to find some paintings on the Internet before the class and then show them to your students. For example, see this Frida’s artwork online gallery.



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    Hi guys, thank you for the lesson. I have a problem with the exercise on “collocations” (ex. 2 p.1) could someone explain it to me? I don’t see them as synonyms or collocations.

  2. Stan

    The idea is to show what the new words from ex. 1 (which of course come from the video) can go with. There are some other examples there to show students some collocations and help them do this task. Take ‘suffer’, as an example we added ‘suffer from depression’ and students need to decide what else people can “suffer’. In this case it’s ‘pain’. Hope my explanations helped you out.

  3. Hana

    This and every other lesson plan I used in class, from this site, are nothing but plain perfection. The topics are different, interesting, the exercises fun, well thought-through, well organized, useful. I LOVE this site and I am DEEPLY grateful for you providing me with new ideas for my classes and sparing little time that I have. Thank you so much, I especially love the Frida Kahlo lesson – a greatly inspiring woman and an equally inspiring lesson plan.

    1. Stan

      Thanks Hana! You’ve just made our day 🙂

  4. Natalia

    Another interesting plan! Challenging and definitely appropriate for C1 level students (especially the video grammar review).

    I’m going to post the same boring comment again 😉 and say that I love it that the lesson combines practice of different skills and doesn’t focus on one area too much.

    I slightly altered the second to last activity (advanced synonyms) and added a slide with only basic adjectives for students to brainstorm synonyms before proceeding to the next slide to do the matching exercise. They seemed to enjoy the challenge and got very creative.

    1. Justa

      Thanks for the comment! It seems like a good idea to add this challenge and make students think before showing them the options. We’re really happy you like that lesson plan! Have you seen our new lesson plan on art: ?

    2. Justa

      Natalia, I just want to let you know that we actually added such a slide to our presentation. Thanks again for a great idea!

  5. michal baharier

    The voice over said she died in 1945 but she died in 1954.

  6. Stan

    Yeah, that’s true. We haven’t noticed that before. Funnily, the built-in animated captions in this video show the correct date but the narrator probably made a mistake while reading it and swapped the numbers.

  7. WE Bridge

    Hi – great lesson plan as always, but I was expecting a narrative tense review (as per the lesson title) – have I missed that section? Thanks

    1. Stan

      It’s not exactly in the PDFs because the narrative tenses tasks are embedded in the interactive video. As the students watch the video, they video gets paused from time to time and students need to answer a few grammar questions. Play the video and see for yourself 🙂

  8. MyEnglishclassroom M

    I have used these lessons for a while. The experience has been really interesting and the materials quite helpful.
    My students are happy to learn new things, including current topics and grammar! Thanks a lot!

    1. Stan

      Hearing that you and your students enjoy our materials is always the best feedback we can get!

  9. May Pérez

    Hi, the video is not working. Can you please tell me how to access it?
    Thank you!

    1. Stan

      you should be able to just click play and watch it on our website but if that doesn’t work try going to

  10. manon beland

    perfection !

  11. CantonesePete

    Hello ESL Brains team. The web link for the video does not seem to be working any longer. Could you check it, please? Peter

    1. Stan

      Pete, it’s been fixed – new versions with new links are online. It seems that the place where that interactive video is hosted decided to mess up with their website and changed all the URLs 🥲

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