Caoimhe Ferguson Caoimhe Ferguson

All through the years
Elementary level


In this lesson, students will learn how to use the present simple of the verb 'to be' to describe past events in the context of past generations. The students will work through various exercises, from controlled, to semi controlled, and finally to freer practise where they will hone in on their writing skills with the past simple of be.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice to Ss in past simple tense of 'be' in the context of past generations.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide writing accuracy in the context of past events.


Lead In (4 minutes) • To introduce Ss to the grammar to be used during the lesson

Show the Ss the slide show of the story of what I did yesterday. Have the Ss come to the WB to underline the grammar being used. Instruct: Which verb is being used a lot/ many times in this text? Please come to the board and underline the verb being used.

Clarifying the grammar (7 minutes) • To make sure Ss understand the use of be in past simple.

-When Ss have underlined all the past simple of be on the WB, turn off the projector and hand out the HO of the text. -Draw up a timeline to demonstrate that be in the past simple is used to describe things that started and finished in the past. Elicit from the Ss the sentences which use the past simple of be and write these under the timeline. Once all the past simple has been written up try and elicit from the Ss what the present simple of each of the sentences would be. (See white board plan for timeline) Concept Check Questions: Am I at home now? No Am I tired now? No (maybe) -Once the timeline has been established, write up the rules for positive and negative uses of be in past simple (see whiteboard plan)

Controlled practise (1) (3 minutes) • To give the Ss controlled practice of the grammar

Give the Ss three minutes to work in pairs to mark the correct words in HO 2 'My cousin's wedding' . For feedback have the Ss write the answers on the board.

Controlled practise (2) (5 minutes) • To have Ss recognise the difference between past simple and simple present of 'be'

Ss will work in pairs to complete the HO 'Write the sentences in past simple' (3 minutes) Give clear demonstration: First sentence- 'I'm tired' 'I was tired' For feedback have the Ss come to WB and write their answers(2 or 3 at a time) (2 minutes)

Semi controlled practice (5 minutes) • To have Ss answering questions using their knowledge of past simple with be

Have the Ss answer questions about the first text 'What I did yesterday'. Ss will have 3 minutes to answer the questions individually. Make sure the Ss answer the questions with long sentences. Instruction: 'You will work individually to answer the questions on the back of the HO. Please use full sentences to answers the questions' Give example sentence, 'Was he happy?'- 'Yes, he was happy'(long answer) vs 'Yes'(short answer) Then have the Ss compare their answers in groups of three before getting WB feedback.

Semi controlled practice (2) (If time permits) (8 minutes) • For Ss to practise using the grammar they have learnt in both writing and speaking

-Ss will complete the 'People and places quiz' in pairs. One Ss will be A and one student will be B. First all 'A' Ss will work together to fill in the blanks on their sheets, and all 'B' Ss will work together to fill in the blanks on theirs. Instruction Check: 'Will you answer the questions now?' No 'Will you fill in the blanks with was/were?' Yes -Then Ss will be paired up, an A with a B, and they will get the information from the other Ss, asking 'what is the first question' or 'what is the first answer'.

Freer practise- Ss write about a wedding they've been to. (13 minutes) • For Ss to practise writing the past simple of be

Instruct Ss to work in pairs write about a wedding they've been to, to include the following things: location, music, food, people, weather... Tell Ss that they can look at the example of 'My cousin's wedding'. For feed back Ss will work in groups of four to discuss the wedding they've been to. They will read each others stories and decide which one they would like the best.

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