Nastassia Nastassia

Copy of Past Simple Lesson (was/were/can/could)
Elementary level


In this lesson students learn and practise the simple past form of "to be" (was/were) and "can" for ability (could). First students are presented the target language and work on meaning. Then Ss reflect upon form and stress through drilling. Finally Ss practise the language through speaking by doing controlled and free practice.


Main Aims

  • To provide practice of past form of "to be" (was/were) and "can" for ability (could)

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy speaking practice in a question-answer in the context of life and skills


Warmer/Lead-in (4-6 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Show the pictures from the powerpoint and introduce a scenario about yourself: where you are now, where you were last year, languages you can speak now and she could speak 20 years ago, sports you can do now and in the past, etc. Ask these concept checking questions: "Is it now or in the past?" "Can I do it now?" Model and drill the past example sentences. Sentences in the PPT : "I am in Izmir now." - " I wasn't in Izmir last year. I was in Edirne." "I can swim now. - "I couldn't swim a few years ago." "I couldn't speak English 20 years ago." - "I can speak English now." "I can do thai-boxing now." - "I couldn't do thai-boxing two years ago." "I could run fast 20 years ago. -"I can't run fast now."

Exposure (Listening) (5-9 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Focus on the photos to reinforce the concepts of present and past. Ask Ss "Is she in her twenties here?" and "Is she in her twenties here, too or younger?" Give instructions for the listening: "Listen to the audio and answer the questions." Play number 1 and elicit true answers to each question. Play the rest of the recording. Ss do the task and check in pairs. Monitor and give delayed feedback.

Clarification (5-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

When Ss have finished, go through the exercise with them. Then show the sentences on the PPT. Model and drill examples with was-were, wasn't-weren't, could-couldn't. Focus on th weak vowel sounds of "was" and "were" in statements and questions, and the strong vowels in short answers and negatives. Then quickly go through the chart. Ask Ss to fill in the chart in pairs. Monitor and give feedback. Show prompts from the PPT and elicit more examples.

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

Pair Ss as A-B for exercise 2. Show/demo if necessary : "Work with your partner. Student A; ask the questions. Student B; answer the questions in exercise 1" Monitor Ss for grammatical and pronunciation problems. Give delayed feedback. Remodel and drill if necessary.

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

Give students the handout with the prompts. Instruction: "Stand up. Find two friends and ask questions with the prompts. Where were you at 8:00 this morning?" Direct the question to one of the students and elicit the answer. Then get them to mingle, pick up good use and errors in pronunciation and grammar. Elicit correction of errors verbally in whole class feedback.

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