Sabina Abdullaeva Sabina Abdullaeva

Past tenses (Simple, Progressive, Perfect)
B1+ level


In this lesson students are introduced to natural disasters. Then they learn to use narrative verbs, followed by pronunciation. Finally, they practice writing with the use of past tenses and natural events' vocabulary.


Abc Handout

Main Aims

  • Grammar, narrative verbs (PAST SIMPLE, PAST PROGRESSIVE AND PAST PERFECT) in the context of natural disasters.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Writing a few sentences by combining the vocabulary of natural events with the narrative verbs.


Warmer/Guided discovery (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Guided discovery by the means of photographs. - Ss elicit names for the natural disasters presented to them via projector and/ or the paper. Ss then do a quick matching exercise in pairs. (Feedback on the board). Ss discuss in pairs whether or not any of the events have happened in Turkey. Pairs then join other pairs to exchange their stories.

Exposure (3-5 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

(PW) Ss look at the sentences:”I was living (A) in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit (B). We found out there had been (C) an earthquake”, and match the tenses with the definitions: 1) tells us about a finished action or event in the past? (B) 2) explains the background to a past action or event? (A) 3) tells us that an event happened earlier than another event? (C) Feedback in the paper when unfolded (A = was living, B=hit; C = had been):

Useful Language (10-12 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Ss Match A-C with three past tenses. A - Past Progressive B - Past Simple C - Past Perfect C B now A A A A A A (PW/GW) Ss write the structure of the two sentences below. I was living (A) in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit (B). /Subject/ + /was verb+ing/ in Sri Lanka when the /noun/ /past simple tense (verb)/. We found out there had been (C) an earthquake. /Subject/ /found out/ there /had past participle (verb)/ an /noun/. (Delayed feedback) Drill the sentences: by backchaining them both.

Productive Task(s) (8-12 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

(P/W) Ss work in pairs to circle the correct verb forms in a dialogue between Astrid and Fran. 1 Did you have to 2 stayed 3 found out 4 had been 5 had caused 6 were actually visiting

Feedback and Error Correction (8-10 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

(Solo) Ss pick one disaster they have lived through or imagine they have and describe it in two sentences (2 minutes). Then two-three ss from each pair write them on the board. T corrects them with W/C at the end.

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