Jessica Kidd Jessica Kidd

Past Simple Lesson - Was/Were
Elementary level


In this lesson, students learn about the past simple form through guided discovery based on famous children in the past. The lesson starts with questions based on the images provided. Thereafter the lesson will focus on grammar, more importantly was/were (verb- be). This will followed by a short audio for the Ss to listen to, followed by a task. Finally there is some controlled practice through sentence restructuring, followed by a freer productive activity of speaking.


Abc Ataturk Image

Main Aims

  • To provide accuracy of the simple past in the context of famous children with the verb 'be'.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency and accuracy speaking practice in a conversation in the context of famous Turkish people


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

I will put up pictures on the board of 6 famous children/groups in the past who are described as amazing. I will draw a timeline on the board with past, present and future markers. A discussion will ensue about who these children are and i will ask the following questions to the class for an open discussion: 1. Does anyone recognise these children? 2. Are they alive or dead? 3. Are they grown up now? 4. Are these pictures taken in the past? Once this is done, i will ask the students where on the timeline these children belong. I will add to the discussion by adding any information on these children that the Ss might not know.

Exposure (5-8 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Handout out the activity from the students exercise book. Tell them to look at the images of the children again, and then in pairs, to discuss the questions. 1. How old do you think the people are? 2. Which photo shows...? Ss to discuss in pairs and then we will check the answers as a class. At this stage i will explain to the students that I am teaching Past Simple.

Highlighting (6-8 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Students to turn to the quiz on the first page. They should work individually to answer the questions in the quiz. I will then ask the students to check their answers with their group and notice if they are any differences. I will then play an audio piece for the Ss, they are to listen and then check their answers as a class with myself. I will ask the students if they require any additional assistance with the receptive task.

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

During this stage of the lesson we will focus mainly on the grammar. Examples are taken from the grammar box, but I will write 2 on the WB for further discussion and language analysis. Sentence 1: Mozart was a famous composer Was - Singular past simple (I, he/she) Was - Weak form /wəz/ Stress - Mozart and famous Sentence 2: The Jackson 5 were a famous pop group Were - Plural past simple (you, we they) Stress - Jackson and famous

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

During this stage, I will introduce the next controlled activity to the students. The activity requires the Ss to use the prompts to make a sentence with was/wasn't and were/weren't. I will do the first sentence with the class so they know what to do. Students are to work individually and then to check their answers in pairs. I will monitor the activity, and give prompts and assistance to the Ss where needed.

Free Practice (8-10 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

For the free practice stage, I will split the students into groups. Each group is to think of 4 famous people, Turkish or non Turkish. I will first elicit an example for the Ss myself by projecting an image of someone famous in the past on the WB. (Ataturk - founder of Turkey) Once everyone knows who this person is, I will say a sentence such as: He WAS the founder of Turkey. I will then instruct my students to do the same in their groups. Thereafter I will ask the students to read out their answers aloud. Each student should have a turn to speak. Error Correction: I will praise the students for their hard work and a job well done, and then work on any errors and give feedback to assist in the correction of these.

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