Alice Dashwood Alice Dashwood

Narrative tenses
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will review the narrative tenses in talking about the past and story telling


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Main Aims

  • Reviewing and practicing narrative tenses in the context of talking about the past

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in the past tense in the context of telling stories


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

- T tells a short story about childhood using past tenses - T asks Ss to answer questions about their childhood - T asks 'when did this happen?' (past) - T asks what the past tense is used for (elicits stories)

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • Revisit narrative tenses through situation

- T shows a sentence 'I was walking along the beach when I heard a loud crash…' and asks Ss to highlight past tenses (was walking, heard) - CCQs - Did I hear the crash before or during my walk? (during) Is the past continuous used for things that happen over time? (yes) Is the past simple used for the main event? (yes) - T writes sentence on WB highlighting past continuous (action over time in the past) and past simple (completed action) - T shows timeline to distinguish was walking (action) and heard - T presents new sentence with past perfect 'I had sat down on the beach when I heard a loud crash…' - CCQs for Ss to fill in where each tense goes - CCQs: Do we use past perfect for events that happened before the main event? (yes) Is the past perfect a good way to understand what happened? (yes) - T shows timeline with the tense forms

Clarification (3-5 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

- T shows all four narrative tenses with examples and explanations - T asks class for examples of each - T highlights pronunciation of "had been"

Controlled Practice (5-8 minutes) • For Ss to practice distinguishing between tenses

- T shows Ss 12 sentences with difference narrative tenses - T asks Ss to highlight the tense and identify the case of each sentence - T puts Ss in small groups/pairs to complete task for 3 minutes - Come back to main room and check answers

Controlled Grammar Practice (8-10 minutes) • For Ss to practice forming different tense forms of verbs

- T presents 10 sentences with gaps and verbs that need to be filled in - demonstrate first answer as example with class, CCQs: was the action continuous? (yes) did it happen before another action (yes) How do we know? (its at the start of the story)

Semi-controlled practice/filler (5-7 minutes) • To provide students with semi-controlled practice of the past tense

- T shares instructions: in pairs/groups tell each other 5 things you did yesterday at what time. The others have to repeat your day back to you from the end of the day to the start. - T puts class into small groups, 5 minutes, monitors for mistakes for feedback at the end

Free practice (5-8 minutes) • Ss get creative and tell a story using the narrative tenses

- T asks Ss to make up a story that starts with "it was a dark, stormy night..." using past tense - T gives instructions: Ss must go one at a time to make up a sentence, with each Ss saying three sentences and then the story is finished. - ICQs: Will you write down what everyone says? (yes) Is this a story or instructions? (story) Does everyone in the group have to come up with a sentence? (yes) How many? (three)

Feedback (2-3 minutes) • To correct any mistakes about grammar or pronunciation from the freer practice

- T takes notes while monitoring free practice on any mistakes or good use of language - T writes them on the WB and corrects them or praises them

Extra time game (2-3 minutes) • Play a game to check understanding of tenses

- T presents game, puts class into two groups to compete - Group 1 goes first, has to guess correct answer - Play for 2 minutes, group with highest score wins

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