Happy Birthday?


Discuss before you watch

  • How do you feel on your birthday? How do you like to celebrate it? Is there anything you'd rather not do?
  • How did you celebrate your last birthday?
  • What is your best and worst birthday memory?
  • Do you like surprise parties? Have you ever had one?
  • What’s the best/ worst gift you’ve ever received? What’s the best/ worst gift you’ve ever given?
  • Do you think getting older (40, 50, 60) is depressing for people, or a happy occasion?
  • How do people celebrate turning 15 and 40 in your country?
  • Is there anybody whose birthday you always remember?
  • Have you ever forgotten an important birthday? Has anybody who’s important for you ever forgotten yours?
  • What are the most typical bad signs of age?

Match up the collocations

1.            Have/ throw                   a. 20
2.            To turn                          b. an old watch
3.            Wish                              c. in your early/mid/ late 20’s/ 30’s
4.            Reconnect                      d. a party
5.            Make                             e. the pages in your telephone and address book

6.            Come across                  f. somebody a happy birthday
7.            Flip                               g. a loose wire

8.            Be                                h. the invitations
9.            Blow out                       i. the candles

10.          Send out                       j. a wish/ a fool of yourself

Watch and answer


1. Does Andy like the phrase “Happy Birthday”? Why? Why not?

2. What are some of the things that remind Andy that he’s getting on a bit?  

Focusing on language: WISHES

After watching the video twice, think of some of  Andy's wishes.

Use WISH + Simple Past (Present Wishes)
Use WISH  + WOULD (to express annoyance)
Use WISH + Past Perfect (to express regret)

The following prompts might help!

  • Getting back on his feet easily.
  • People making fools of themselves.
  • Having to look in the bathroom mirror when he first gets up
  • Having to remove names from his telephone and address book.
  • Having to wear the same shoes every day.
  • His shoes looking terrible!
  • Younger people accepting the use of 4-letter f-words as normal conversation.
  • Needing more light to read the newspaper.
  • Having seen it all before.

What about your wishes? Provide examples that are meaninful to you.

Follow up

Choose one of the following points, find out about it and prepare a short presentation to share with the class. You can work with the aid of PPT or Prezi.

  • Some birthday traditions from other countries.
  • A/ some big event(s) that happened the year you were born.
  • The origins of the song "Happy Birthday to You"
  • The lyrics of the song "Happy Birthday to You" in another language



  1. Lovely! Thank you so much! Very nice class which can be adapted to all levels.

  2. I'm happy you like it, Yvette! Thanks for posting your comment!

  3. Great Marce, as everything you do!. :)