Marieke Marieke

Was/Were questions lesson TP6a (Marieke Steuben)
Beginner level


In this lesson, students practice constructing and using questions and answers with was/were. First they gain more familiarity with the structure of different types of questions, using material from the listening text in the previous lesson. The class will practice pronunciation and get controlled practice making questions. Finally they have freer practice asking and answering questions in pairs.


Abc f2f Starter Unit 8B p88
Abc f2f Starter Unit 8B p94
Abc Was/Were Handout
Abc f2f Starter Unit 8B p65

Main Aims

  • To provide grammar clarification and practice using was/were questions in simple past, in the context of a wedding or a party.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To practice accuracy (speaking) by asking and answering questions during controlled exercises.
  • To practice accuracy in pronunciation through various drilling exercises.


Guided discovery (6-8 minutes) • Take students through discovery of question forms using was/were in the context of the Indian wedding

1. Remember Rajeet and Gita. Where was their wedding? How old were they? 2. Draw a timeline on the WB. Are we talking about present or past? How do we know? Write "was", "were", "is" and "are" and ask sts to tell me which time they occur in. 3. Show HO. Show 1st page - write sentences in the boxes. Then fill in the gaps. Work by yourself. 5 minutes. Monitor.

Drill for pronunciation and stress (10-12 minutes) • Practice pronunciation and stress of was/were questions and answers

1. Model and drill WC from HO / half class / backchain drill Where was the wedding? How old were Rajeet and Gita? How many people were at the wedding? Where was Rajeet's brother? Move to Yes/no questions on HO: Elicit answer of number 1. Model and drill. Was he at the wedding? Ask for answers. Model and drill. Yes, he was. No, he wasn't. WB Write Q / A on left / right. Break class in half, indicate Q to one side and A to other. Show Yes/No questions on the HO. Example: number 1: Model and drill by pointing to that side of the room. Q: Was he at the wedding? (repeat) A: Yes, he was. No, he wasn't. (repeat) Then elicit number 2 by pointing: Q: Were they at the wedding? A: Yes, they were. No, they weren't. Switch Q and A on board and indicate now the other side will be questioning. 3: Q: Was I at the wedding? A: Yes, you were. No, you weren't. 4: Q: Were you at the wedding? A: Yes, I was. No, I wasn't. Try a couple individual pairs drills of the Q and A Check answers of last items also by drilling: Where was Gita born? (She was born in the UK.) Individual drilling: When were you born? (I was born in...)

Clarify form (3-5 minutes) • Elicit and clarify form of was/were questions and answers

1. Show other side of HO. Ask sts to fill in boxes. MODEL one example on WB. Sts work alone then check with a partner. 2. Ask if there are any questions.

Controlled practice (12-14 minutes) • Give sts controlled practice making and asking questions

1. Show HO on making questions - FOLD in half - top half only. Ask sts to circle the right word on the top exercise. MODEL one example. (2 min) 2. Ask sts to ask and answer questions with a partner. (2 min) 3. Monitor and correct errors. 4. Show bottom half of HO. Ask sts to make questions. (3 min) 5. Stick answer slips on wall. Get sts to check their answers and find a NEW partner. 5. Ask sts to ask and answer questions with a partner. (5 min)

Freer question practice (12-15 minutes) • Give sts more practice asking and answering was/were questions

1. Show HO and indicate groups A and B. Divide room in half. Ask sts to fill in gaps with was or were. 2. MODEL one as example. "Where was the last wedding you went to?" Check understanding of "went". Then give HO - A to A's and B to B's. 3. Work alone and check in your group. (2 mins) 4. Everyone stand up. Show A - B interaction. Ask questions and answer. Then switch. perhaps draw bubbles on board to show A and B. (5 minutes) 5. Monitor and take note of errors. 6. After 5 minutes, draw on WB - new interaction pattern. Ask A's to now talk to other A's about what the B's said. Show on WB. (5 minutes) 7. If time, show errors on WB and ask sts to correct. 8. If time, ask sts to report to WC.

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