Giorgia Mineo Giorgia Mineo

Lottery Winners & Losers
Intermediate level


In this lesson students learn about the past simple and past continuous in the context of the lottery. Students self-discover the grammar constructions and then move on to exercises including a sentence correction task, a role play, and a fill-the-blanks lottery game to practise using the correct tenses in context.


Abc Lottery numbers
Abc Correct the sentences hand out

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of past simple and past continuous in the context of lottery

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy speaking practice in a conversation in the context of lottery


Warm up (4-5 minutes) • Introduce the past simple and past continuous tenses in an implicit way

Gather feedback from students about the previous lottery lesson. Tell them they will now learn about my friend Homer. Students will see powerpoint slides with one picture on each slide and one verb (V1) below the picture. For each picture, elicit from the students the following statements: 1 - (PC) One day Homer was watching television. 2 - (PS) He saw a show about Istanbul. 3 - (PC + PS) He was trying to save money for the trip but it was so expensive. 4 - (PS) He decided to buy a lottery ticket. 5 - (PS) He won 1 million dollars! 6 - (PC) He was living in Istanbul for 20 years.

Revealing past simple and past continuous (5-6 minutes) • Students self-discover past simple and past continuous

Students now see all the sentences from the previous stage on one powerpoint slide. First elicit the similarities - time - is the story as a whole in the past, present or future? Draw timelines, one on each side of white board. Then in pairs, is each sentence an ongoing action or a completed action? (2 mins) Peer check (2 mins). WGFB

Constructing the past simple and past continuous (4-5 minutes) • Students self-discover the formula

Explain ongoing action in the past is called PC and completed action in past is PS. Pair up students and ask them to make the sentence structure for both tenses with the following options (written on the board) (2 minutes): - V-ing (PC verb) - was/were (helping verb) - subject - V2 (PS verb) Swap partners and peer check. (1 mins) WGFB. ANSWER: PS = subject + V2 PC = subject + was/were (helping verb) + V-ing

Negative PC and PS (5-6 minutes) • Students understand the negative forms

Now let's imagine Johnny didn't win the lottery because he made all the wrong choices. The next slide shows the negative constructions. Homer was not watching television. (PC) He didn't see a show about Istanbul. (PS) He wasn't trying to save money. (PC) He didn't decide to buy a lottery ticket. (PS) He didn't win 1 million pounds. (PS) He wasn't living in Istanbul for 20 years. (PC) Ask students in pairs to identify the rule for where the negative fits in the structures they discovered. (was not / did not / subject / V1 / V-ing) (2 mins) Peer check (1 min). WGFB.

Drilling (3-4 minutes) • Students practise grammar

Draw and explain two timelines, return to story of Homer and drill the sentences: He watched television He was watching television He played the lottery He was playing the lottery He did not live in Istanbul He was not living in Istanbul He did not try to save money He was not trying to save money

Correct the sentences handout (5-6 minutes) • Students test their understanding of both tenses

Put students in pairs. Chest the handout and explain that there are 5 sentences, some are correct and some are incorrect. Tell them to discuss and correct the sentences. (3 mins) Peer check. WGFB.

Role play (6-7 minutes) • Students practise using the tenses themselves

Ask students to work in pairs. One is a presenter, one is a lucky winner! Imagine they are on tv and being interviewed about what they were doing before the lottery (PC) and then what they did with the prize money (PS). Each pair must prepare at least one past continuous and one past simple EACH. Give them examples - I was living in a very small flat. I bought a new house. / I was working in a boring job. I quit my job! / (4 mins) Monitor, correct mistakes. WGFB - get one or two pairs to present.

End of class competition (4-5 minutes) • Consolidate their use of the past simple and past continuous

Split class into two teams. A powerpoint slide on the board shows eight statements with the verb left blank. Then, in turn, a student from each group takes a number slip from a box of folded slips of paper. The number they draw corresponds to the numbered sentence on the board. Their group then has a few seconds to put the correct verb in the correct form in the blank. For each correct answer, the team wins fake paper money which is placed on their table. The team with the most money at the end wins the lottery!

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