Lisa Helfrich Lisa Helfrich

Lives and Legends - Part 2
Intermediate level


This lesson is a discovery about past simple and past continuous verb tenses while reading about fascinating lives and talking about their own.


Abc Grammar handout 2 & 3
Abc Jimi Hendrix projection
Abc Grammar handout I
Abc Grammar handout 4

Main Aims

  • Students will learn how past simple and past continuous tenses are describe events, in the context of books authored by a successful ghostwriter; and then they will be enabled to create their own texts using these tenses.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Speaking to each other in the context of creating stories; listening to their partners tell stories.


Lead-in (5-7 minutes) • To set context for grammar lesson and spark interest.

Project photo of Jimi Hendrix book ghostwritten by Andrew Crofts. Ask students if they remember seeing the picture in prev. lesson. ASK do you know who this is? ELICIT Jimi Hendrix (or tell). ELICIT famous American electric guitarist (or tell). ASK if anyone is a musician in class. INSTRUCT Please work in pairs (INDICATE). This is a quiz about Jimi Hendrix. Please guess what the right answer is. GIVE out HO for them to work on for 2 minutes or so. Project answer key. Were they right?

Highlighting (5-8 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

1. Using projected answer key, underline text on whiteboard of past continuous and past simple sentences. NOMINATE students to draw in answers. 2. Write sentence on board: As I was walking down Istiklal Street I saw Susan. ELICIT pc/ps. CCQs: -Did this (pointing to TL) happen in the past, present or futre? PAST -Did both actions happen at the same time? Yes -Did this happen first or did this happen first (pointing to the simple and continuous in the sentence)? walking (in example below) Draw timelines in board and ELICIT where action takes place. 3. Elicit answers for two blanks below text (completed actions / action in progress).

Controlled Practice (5-8 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice.

INSTRUCT Please work on this alone. Model first one. After they finish project gap fill HO on whiteboard. Elicit answer for first one. Nominate a student to write it in. He hands pen to next student who hands pen to next student etc.

Semi-Controlled Practice (5-10 minutes) • To prepare students for free practice and further clarify grammar points.

Divide class into new pairs (figure out way after observing students). Model first exercise on other side of handout on board. INSTRUCT work in pairs to do rest. Nominate person from each group to tell answer.

Free Practice (10-15 minutes) • To enable students to apply what they've learned by writing their own story.

INSTRUCT Let's write our own story. Write on WO: I was sitting in English class when I heard . . . . get students to give you next sentence. Have students move chairs 3 separate groups. INSTRUCT Please work in groups to write your own story. It doesn't have to be true. Invent a story. Give out separate HOs.. Have one person from each group read theirs. Sit down for this. Model any errors.

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