Selin Sadikoglu Selin Sadikoglu

Good Times, Bad Times
Elementary level


In this lesson, students learn how to use the verb 'to be' in the past simple first through identifying how it is used in a reading, then, through guided discovery. The usage is then clarified and the students work through a controlled practice. Finally, they produce a short paragraph about a past birthday party or party that they had and share it with the class through a class mingle.


Abc Handout
Abc Whiteboard

Main Aims

  • To identifying and practising using the verb 'to be'

Subsidiary Aims

  • To produce a short writing using the verb 'to be' in the past simple tense.


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

Students look at the picture on the wb. The discuss in pairs the following; What do you think they are doing in the picture? What is their relationship? How old are they? After there is a short wc fb.

Exposure (7-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

Students read the text (ex.3a) and decides who is talking (from the previous picture). After, this is taken up as a wc. Next, students read again and underline the things in the box, in the text (ex.3b) Students check in pairs. Students come up with board markers to underline the answers. Teacher check answers. CCQ1: What did they eat? CCQ2: Who wasn't at the party?

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

Students circle was, were, wasn't and weren't in the text. Teacher shows an example on the wb comparing the verb 'to be' in the present and then in the past, and elicits from students the difference in meaning.

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

Students fill in the blanks with was, were, wasn't and weren't individually. Teacher mingles. Students check in pairs. Teacher clarifies meaning and form with timeline, CCQ and example on wb. Teacher clarifies pronounciation by drilling the contracted forms of to be in the negative form.

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

Students read about Helen's thirteenth birthday party and circle the correct word for each sentence individually. Students check in pairs. Teacher gives out markers to students to come to wb for answers. Teacher asks students if they remember who Helen is from the previous picture/reading. Answers are taken up as a wc. Error correction is done if necessary.

Semi-Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Students will use to be in the past form to write a short paragraph about a past birthday party or other party that they had. (They will answer the questions where, why, when and with who they were with.) Teacher monitors to address any questions.

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

Students stand up and stick their writing onto the walls of the classroom. After, students mingle to read about each others' parties. Students sit back down. In groups of three, students discuss who they think had the best party.

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