I need a lesson plan for the simple past

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I need a lesson plan for the simple past

Unread post by emzz » 29 Jun 2006, 19:02

Hi Lucy,

I was wondering if you can help me :? .

I'm planning a 45 minute lesson on question forms and short answers in the past simple for ESL elementary level students. Can you please help by providing me with some controlled, semi-controlled and free activities that the students can complete during this lesson.


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Lesson Plan

Unread post by Lucy » 01 Jul 2006, 19:03

Dear Emma,

I think you are being ambitious by aiming to do controlled, semi-controlled and free activities in 45 minutes. If you do that, your lesson will be a series of short activities with lots of changes and you giving out lots of instructions. Changes and instructions take up more time than you think. I think your students would benefit more if you spread the activities out over two lessons. I suppose that at elementary level, the simple past will be fairly new to them, so they will need to spend time on it. If you have been asked by an examiner or observer to do all three types of activity, then you can ignore this comment.

As a controlled exercise, give students a short text that is written in the simple past. Give them time to read it and check they understand it. Prepare a list of questions and answers that relate to the text and that are all true. For example, if the text is about somebody’s holiday, you could include the following: “Did she go to Spain? No, she didn’t”. Jumble up the questions and answers (you could use the worksheet generator on Tefl.net to do this); students match the questions and answers.

As a semi-controlled activity, you could play the “yes – no” game. In this game, students ask questions and the person responding is not allowed to say yes or no. First of all put students into groups of 3 or 4, depending on the size of the class. In groups students prepare questions, these should be questions that elicit the answers “yes or no”; so tell them not to use “wh” questions, e.g. what did you do? Where did you go? Go around and check students’ questions are correct.

Students stay in their groups for the quiz. Students take it in turns to sit in the hot seat; students from the other groups ask their questions; the student in the hot seat replies with “I did”, “I didn’t” or “I was” “I wasn’t”. Each student has one minute in the hot seat (you can change the amount of time, depending on the size of your class). The teacher counts up the number of times the student says yes or no. The group that says yes or no the least number of times, wins. During the quiz, note down mistakes and some of the very good questions and answers. Go over these at the end of the activity or the end of the lesson.

As a free activity, students could simply ask each other questions about their activities last weekend.

I hope these ideas will help.

Good luck,


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