Teaching Practice 4 - Grammer - Was / Were
Elementary - Adults level


This is a grammar lesson focusing on the structure of the verb to be in the past tense form was/were via reading and listening exercises. The teaching will include loads of drilling exercises, such as listening for specific information, filling in the gaps, CCQs, etc.


No materials added to this plan yet.

Main Aims

  • To provide practice of the past simple tense in the context of was/were
  • To provide scan, gist and detailed reading practice using a text about modern technology in the context of showing disadvantages of technology

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide specific information reading and listening practice using a text and audio about famous people in history in the context of was/were


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

1. Display an image of Egyptian ex-president Mubarak. Ask students: CCQ 'Who was he?' 2. Repeat the process with Sadat. 3. Repeat the process with Nasr. 4. Now display them together. Check if they understand was/were. Ask CCQ 'Who were they?' 5. Follow up by displaying American ex-presidents in 1 photo together. Ask CCQ 'Who were they?' 6. Display an image of Mount Rushmore. Elicit the names of the presidents of Mount Rushmore. 7. Ask students to match the first names of those presidents with their surnames.

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

1. Ask students to complete 1(c) and to listen to the soundtrack for specific information and fill the gap. 2. Demonstrate the first question. 3. ICQ: Are you going to write a long answer? 4. Play audio and listen 5. Then ask students to check their answers in pairs. 6. Play audio listen again. 7. Show the answer key.

Highlighting (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Show students question 2(a) CCQ: Ask them why are we using was/were? CCQ: What is the difference between was/were? Great or we will come back for that if they don't know. Ask them to complete.

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

1. We will use the whiteboard and write. E.g. Naguib Mahfouz was a writer. 2. CCQ: Where is the verb in this sentence? was 3. CCQ: The word 'was' is past, present or future? past 4. CCQ: So, what verb tense is ‘was? past simple tense 5. CCQ: What is the present tense of this sentence? Naguib Mahfouz is a writer. 6. CCQ: Why did we use was and not were? Because NM is singular 7. CCQ: How can we switch the sentence to an opposite statement? Naguib Mahfouz wasn’t a writer.

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

Share with students the visuals of 4 famous Egyptians. Give them their birthday, birth city, death and occupation Ask them to form questions from the answer. Demo an answer. Where was he/she born? Manually assign them to breakout rooms. Come back and reveal answers. When was he/she born? When was his/her death? Where was he/she living? What was her/his job? Come back and reveal answers.

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

Ask students to complete 3(c) in breakout rooms, but first, ask them CCQ why was it 'where was your mother born?' rather than 'where were your mother born?' Put in breakout rooms for 5 min. Come back to discuss.

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