Copy of Past simple lesson
Pre-intermediate level


In this lesson, students review and practice forming past simple positive and negative verbs in the context of fast-food restaurants. The lesson starts by a closer look at the time referred to in the text the students have worked on previously, and thus on the tense (past simple) used in this text. The students will then autonomously find the past simple verbs in the text. I will then elicit the students' answers on how to form the past simple of regular verbs, but also check they have understood the concept of the past simple for irregular verbs. We will also check the understanding and use of the negative form of the past simple. We will then practise pronunciation and understanding of pronunciation forms (ie to know when and why these verbs are pronounced as such). We will then work on a gap text, in which students have to fill in themselves the past simple verbs. If we have time the students will write past simple questions about the text.


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Main Aims

  • To review and practice forming past simple positive and negative in the context of fast-food restaurants.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To practice pronunciation of past simple regular verbs, focusing on the /id/ /t/ and /d/ sound.


Stage 1 : Lead-in (2-4 minutes) • Getting ss to identify by themselves which tense is used in the text

I will elicit from students what tense is used in the text they have read previously with Tugce. I will ask questions on what happened in the text? When the actions in text are taking place? Are these actions finished or still continuing? Is there a clear reference to a time in the past? How do we know these actions are finished? Have these actions taken place at the same time? One after the other?

Stage 2 : Scanning the text and looking for specific info (8-9 minutes) • Autonomous identification of the past tense

I will first get the students to underline the past simple forms individually. Then, as this is the second class, I will get the students to change peers in order to get them to practice english with other students (1,2,3,4,5). One group will be looking at the past simple regular verbs, another will be looking for the past simple irregular verbs, the third one for be-can-negatives. I will ask each group to choose a secretary to write down all the verbs. While they are looking for the verbs, I will write five categories on the WB : be, can, regular, irregular, negatives. Once they have finished writing them down, I will get one student per group to come and write these on the board.

Stage 3 : Understanding the past simple (7-8 minutes) • getting the ss to understand in their own words when the past simple is used

In this stage I will give the students a HO on which there will be questions of the construction and use of the past simple. On the HO there'll also be the list of irregular verbs, so I will ask them to fold the sheet and only focus on the top part of it for the moment. ICQs. I will get the students to discuss in pairs the following questions : 1). How do we make the Past Simple of regular verbs? Is there a rule for irregular verbs? 2). How do we make the Past Simple negative? How is the Past Simple negative of 'be' different? I will then get FB from the students, and make sure they have accurately understood the use and construction of the past simple tense, positive and negative. 1). infinite + -ed/ -d> There is no rule for the irregular verbs, one must learn them. 2). To make the past simple negative, it is the auxiliary that takes the form of the past simple : ie did + not + infinitive, oral short form version : didn't. For 'be', unlike for other verbs, there are two simple past forms : 'was' and 'were'. We must also always remember that for the negative form of the simple past, you do not use 'did' with the verb 'be'.

Stage 4 : Pronunciation (and spelling) (9-10 minutes) • Checking the students' pronunciation of past simple regular verbs

I will dictate the following verbs to the students : die, need, stay, learn, work, start, move, develop, decide, continue, visit, travel. I will ask them what all these have in common? Are they all regular? Do they all end the same in the simple past tense? Is the end written the same way for all of them? I will then explain to the students that in the past simple tense, for regular verbs, we can find three different ending sounds, I will give examples to clarify this : worked /t/ ; visited /id/ ; stayed /d/. I will write the three categories on the WB. I will read out loud the past simple form of the verbs I previously gave them and ask the students to repeat after me. I will then get them to work in pairs, to discuss and find in which category each verb goes. I will then explain that these ending sounds depend on the last letter of the infinitive form of the verbs.

Stage 5 : Setting the context of the activity (8-9 minutes) • Getting the students to use the simple past tense

I will first set the context of the activity which we will be working on in this 5th stage. I will get the students to talk about their own experience to fast-foods, and get them to relate to the following topic. Where do you eat when you are in a hurry? Do you sit down and have a long meal? Does it have to be fast? What type of fast-food restaurants can we find in Istanbul? What other famous fast-food restaurants do you know? Was Mc'ds one of the first fast-food restaurants to open? Where did it first open? Was it recently or in the past? Do you know who opened the 1st Mc'ds? Do you know how many Mc'ds there are in the world?etc. I will then give them the gap-text HO. I will give them a few minutes to fill in the sheet individually. I will get them to check in pairs and then have a quick FB of the gap text answers.

Stage 6 : Autonomous practice (7-8 minutes) • To get the students to use their own knowledge with the help of the text as a basis to use what they have acquired

If I have time for this last activity, I will ask the students to write in pairs, simple sentences about the Mc'ds text. Before they do so, I will demo and give examples on the WB.

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