Arabella Bannister Arabella Bannister

Helping learners understand simple past vs. past perfect in the context of graffiti
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson learners review past simple and past perfect through TTT procedures. There is a lead-in where learners are exposed to the context topic of graffiti. This is followed by a controlled task where they are tested on their knowledge of the structure of past simple and past perfect in a sentence. They are reminded of the structure and taken through an MFPA and then retested. Finally, they are tasked with using the structure in a freer task.


Main Aims

  • To provide review and practice and gauage Ss knowledge of past simple and past perfect

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide detailed reading practice using a text about Bansky artwork
  • To provide fluency and accuracy in speaking practice in a when telling a story when two different actions happened in the past


Warmer/Lead-in (2-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Show Learners a slide with graffiti on it. Send them out to BRs and have them answer the following questions: Do you like them? Do you have these where you live? Had you seen these particular ones before? Ss come back to main room and share their answers and Ss predict what we will read about.

Test #1 (8-10 minutes) • To gauge students' prior knowledge of the target language

Ss look at the slide and fill in the blanks with the target language in teams in BRs They then come back to see the slide with the answers to correct for themselves

Teach (15-20 minutes) • To clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the first test stage

Meaning: The teacher asks them to help her with the meaning of sentences from the text and with the help of a timeline shows that when there are two past actions the Past perfect shows an action that happened before the Past Simple action. In other words, the Simple past is the action that is most recent. Form: Ss notice that Past Perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb have and comes towards the end of the sentence. Pronunciation: Ss drill the sentences for fluency practice and to notice that the information words are stressed. Ss drill the contraction in the third sentence.

Test #2 (6-8 minutes) • Check students' use of the target language again and compare with the first test

Ss get another reading but this time they have to come up with the structure they were taught to fill in the blanks. We will check the exercise together.

Free practice (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Ss are asked to go back to Breakout Rooms and have a conversation about Graffiti in their city and whether they have had an experience like mine. We come back to the main room and do a DEC

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