Evgeniy Kalashnikov Evgeniy Kalashnikov

Narrative Tenses
Upper-Intermediate, B2 level


In this lesson students revise past simple, past continuous, past perfect tenses and learn about their narrative function. The language introduction is based on the text they read previously (some sentences with the target language are taken from the text). After that there is a controlled practice exercise and a freer practice in listening and writing with the target language.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of past tenses as narratives

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide process writing practice of a story
  • To provide deduction listening practice using a text about a person


Exposure (Shouting Dictation) (10-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

(As the context has already been provided to some extent, this stage is a game for sentences with the target language to be exctracted from the whole text) (Prezi slide 2) For the shouting dictation technique provide some DEMONSTRATION: T.: We will come back to the text later on. Now we are going to do the following: let me show you. (Name), will you be so kind to help me. I have got a sentence which I will dictate to you. Your task is (what do you think?) S1: To write it down. (anticipated answer) T.: Good. Quite easy, isn't it?. But all the rest students will have to talk to each other about what you did yesterday. (I divide them in pairs or in groups of three.) You must speak till I ask you to stop. What will I do? What will (Name) do? What will the rest of the group do? What will they talk about? When must they stop? T.: On the count of 3, start talking. (dictate your sentence to (Name)): He brought a little towel. Stop the activity when you have finished with the dictation and check the sentence and move to the ACTIVITY. T.: Now we all are going to do the same activity. I'm going to give each of you a number from 1 up to 4. Remember it! Pair the students: (possible way) give each student a number from 1-4 (if there are 8 students) so they form 4 pairs. NB: students in each pair aren't supposed to sit close to each other. T.: Students with the same numbers are going to work together. Ask students to raise their hands calling out the numbers to check they understand who they are going to work with. Give one student of each pair a sentence. Ask checking questions to see if all students understand the procedure. Do the activity. After that ask partners of each pair to come up to each other to check the sentences. Conduct some feedback: where these sentences are from.

Highlighting and clarification (5-5 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language and clarify it

Show the sentences from the previous activity on the board (before the lesson write the parts of the sentences with the target grammar on the board) or use Prezi Slide 3. He was just settling down to work when a new model Chevrolet pulled up outside. The man knocked on Obi’s door and Obi jumped up to open it for him. The wad of notes lay where he had placed it for the rest of the day. Despite his problems Obi had refused to accept many bribes. (write this sentence the last one and in a different colour) Ask why the last sentence is in a different colour. Lead them to the idea that the event in the sentence precedes the whole story. Draw a timeline. Give an example with the first one. Ask Ss to identify verb forms and underline them. Elicit why we need the forms separately and altogether. (narration, telling stories) Possible CCQ to help: past simple T.: Does the man always knock his door? (no, or we don't know) Is the situation in the past or in the present? Has the man stopped knocking on Obi's door? (yes) Has he just stopped doing that? (no, in the past) past continuous T.: Did Obi start settling down to work before the car arrived? (yes) Did Obi stop settling down to work when the car arrived? (maybe, no) Which is a process and which is a short action? (settling down, arrived) past perfect T.: Did Obi place the wad of notes before or after that?

Controlled Practice (10-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

T.: Let's come back to our story. Did Obi take the bribe? What, do you think, happened then? Ss agree that he did and suggest their ideas on the second question. For the second question let them discuss in pairs for 1-2 minutes and elicit feedback. T.: Actually, he was found with the money and went on trial. (clarify the meaning of "on trial"). Distribute HO2 and ask Ss to read it for 1 minute and answer the question "How did Obi react to the situation?". Tell them that they shouldn't pay attention to the verbs. After reading let them discuss their ideas in pairs elicit and during feedback clarify the meaning of the word "listlessness". Draw students' attention to the verb form. Elicit what they have to do with the task. Give them 2-3 minutes to do that individually and then check their answers in pairs. Get feedback.

Context building for a writing task (6-6 minutes) • To prepare students for free practice

Write on the board: Obi had a moral ... or use Prezi Slide 4. Ask them to complete the sentences. (the anticipated answer is DILEMMA). Elicit the meaning of the word. T.: Have you ever had any dilemma? (get some feedback, if necessary provide your own example) T.: Now we are going to listen to a story about a man. Listen and answer the question "What's his dilemma and what is the reason?" Make some notes if it's necessary. Check students understand the task and play the recording. Let students discuss the answers in pairs and get feedback.

Free Practice (13-13 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

T.: Do we know if he took the ticket? What, do you think, the next task is going to be about? Ask students to write the end of the story. Provide some leading questions (Prezi slide 5): -What did Ben do? - Did he the ticket and or did he not take it and ruin his best friend's wedding? - What was he thinking about? - What influenced his decision? While they are writing, actively monitor and help if it's necessary. Also, make some notes on typical mistakes for further board correction. When students have finished, ask them to share their stories in pairs. While they are telling their stories, write some sentences from your notes for board error correction. AS AN ALTERNATIVE WRITING TASK (to save time): Arrange students in groups of 3-4. Give each group a sheet of paper. Set up the same task but as group work. Each student writes no more than one word. The can't discuss what they are writing: they do it silently and quickly. Set up the necessary time limit. When the times finishes, ask one group to read their story with the other group indicating grammar mistakes. Then do the same with the other group's story. Write down the indicated mistakes. Ask students to comment on the mistakes. For reflection ask students what grammar you revised and what the grammar is used for. (past tenses, narration) Thank students for good work (Prezi Slide 6)

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