Nisha Nisha

Past simple of be: was/ were
Elementary2 level


In this lesson, the context of historical figures is used to introduce and practice the past simple of the verb- be ( was/ were). The grammar is presented through a conversation between two people who are looking at a photo of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, in the National Portrait Gallery in London. The pronunciation and speaking gets students to focus on sentence stress in past simple sentences and questions.


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Main Aims

  • The main aim of this lesson is to introduce and practise the past simple of the verb-be ( was/ were).

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency and accuracy on sentence stress in past simple sentences and questions.


Warmer/Lead-in (4-6 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students in the use of is/ was and are/ were

Use exercise 1a, Unit 7A as an opener. Ask ss to read the questions and find the answers in the text. Focus on the verb be- is. Underline the verbs and ask ss which tense is used here. (present simple) Question- Why are the questions and answers in the present simple tense? ( because these are facts) Ask ss to complete exercise 1 C.

Test #1 (5-7 minutes) • To gauge students' prior knowledge of the target language

Check the answers for exercise 1C together. Ask questions by nomination: Was it cold in the morning? Were you busy today? Was he in class on Thursday? Were they in class on Thursday? Focus on exercise 1C. Ask students to underline 5 sentences/ questions that use was/ were. Check answers.

Teach (10-12 minutes) • To clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the first test stage

Error correction, if any. Display the use of was/ were on the board as used in sentences and questions. Explain briefly and clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the previous stage. Focus on pronunciation and sentence stress. Use exercise 2a. Practice through listening and drilling.

Test #2 (8-10 minutes) • Check students' use of the target language again and compare with the first test

Focus on exercise 7A in the grammar bank (part one and two) Check answers. Do exercise 2b - nominate ss. Check understanding and give feedback.

Free practice (13-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Use the communication activity from the students' book . Divide ss in to A and B groups. Pair ss.A+B Instructions: Ask and answer. Take turns. Monitor and check. Feedback and clarify doubts.

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