Ayselee Ayselee

What Went Wrong?
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn how to talk about the future in the past. Students will listen to a story and predict how it went wrong. This will lead them to sharing a personal story about a time when their own plan hadn't turn out as expected.


Abc Slip of paper
Abc Listening 1.49
Abc Listening 1.50

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification about talking about future in past tense in the context of plans and how they went wrong.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide detailed listening practice using a text about Maggie's plan in the context of her husband's birthday.
  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of telling about past plans that didn't end up the way they were supposed to.


Warmer/Lead-in (2-3 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Teacher makes a chart with three columns. Teacher writes "A great party", A big dinner", and "Friends" in the columns. Three students come to board and draw pictures to go with the words. "These are three things we will see in Maggie's story a little later. Right now, I need three students to draw these...who wants to?"

Exposure (3-5 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Teacher writes "It was supposed to be a great party. We were going to have this big dinner. All my friends were coming." in the columns with the corresponding picture. Teacher asks students : "What are these sentences describing? "Do the sentences refer to present or past plans?" "Which two forms suggest the event didn't even happen?"

Highlighting (2-3 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Teacher hands out the part of Han's story they have already read and students (with a partner) must find those two forms within the text. "Here is some parts from Han's story. With a partner find these two forms within the text and underline it."

Clarification (8-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

Teacher writes sentences from Han's story " We were going to get married (...)" and "She was only supposed to be in Germany for two weeks(...)" and breaks down the form by asking students what each part is. Subject+were/was+going to+base verb+object. Teacher asks students were past form is being used and where future form is being used. Teacher does it again with the second sentence and elicits "supposed to" meaning. CCQ's If something was "supposed to" happen, did it happen? Why did we think it was going to happen? Teacher makes a timeline with past, present and future labelled and asks students to put -when did the event happen -when were the plans made -when are we talking about this.

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Teacher puts Maggie's photos on board and asks students in groups to discuss what her plans were. Have students listen to 1.49. While students are listening make a two column chart. The left side being "Plans" and the right side being "What happened". Ask students: "Were we right?" "What were her plans?" Have different students come up and write her plans on the left side.

Semi-Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

"Do you think these plans actually happened?" "With a new partner, predict what will happen." Have students discuss for a few minutes and then ask each group to share what they think. "Lets see how we did." Play listening 1.50 and ask students what actually happened. "Who had the closest prediction?."

Free Practice (10-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

"Now think of an instance in your life where you had plans that didn't work out." (writing on board) 1. What did you plan? 2. What happened? 3. What did you do? 4. How did it turn out? Split class in to large groups and have them discuss their stories. After they have discussed, give each student a number and pull out slips of paper. Whoever is picked will share their story with the class. Do as many as you can till the end of the lesson. End with praising them on good work.

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