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A year off

Tell SS they have a year off to go where they want and do what they want. Money is not a problem.

SS close their eyes for a few minutes and imagine what they do and where they go.

Now they are back and they tell their neighbour where they went and what they did.

SS now tell the class about their partner to practice 3rd person.

Past simple “bingo” for irregular verbs.

From a verb table, or restricted list of irregular verbs, SS choose six and write them in a grid of six squares in past simple form.

T calls out verbs at random in infinitive form. The first SS with six past form verbs correctly crossed out wins (if he/she shouts “Bingo” loudly enough). SS must also call back the verbs to the T in both infinitive and past simple form so that the verbs can be checked.

Happy and Sad

T draws a graph on the board of his/her life, explaining what happened at various times in his/her life and how he/she felt.

T starts with year of birth and draws a line along the graph axis from left to right. The line goes above the axis for happy occasions and events, and below the line for sad ones. (A smiley face and a miserable face can be drawn above and below the axis to clarify).

T continues speaking and describing his/her life as the line is being drawn. Most of the verbs used should be in past simple,

Eg) In 1989 I fell in love and moved to Manchester. I was very happy. But two years later, in 1991, she left me and I lost my job. I was very sad.

The SS become very interested in this personalisation and the ‘opening up’ of the teacher’s personal history. Questions should be welcomed, especially if they can naturally be answered in past simple.

SS draw a similar graph of their own lives (only including what they feel comfortable in sharing), and explain to their partner using their graph as a prompt.

When Did You Last….?

A mingling activity similar to Find Someone Who…’

Drill question forms with did and infinitive. Elicit past simple form of verb plus any relevant prepositions.

Ss mingle, asking one question and at least one follow up question before changing partner.

SS note down any ‘interesting’ information to tell the class during feedback.

Eg) When did you last……?

Cook a meal (preposition ‘for’)

Cry (about)

Sing in the shower

Buy something expensive (for)

Go to the dentist

Get a present (from)

Give someone flowers (to)

Go camping (with)

Play a game

Write a letter (to)

Do exercise

Swim in the sea (with)

Laugh a lot (about)

Make a cake (for)

Take a taxi (to)

Picture Series

Cut up a picture cartoon series (of the type found in newspapers, magazines., course books etc. (copyright permitting, of course).

SS arrange the pictures in the order of the story, and tell the story using past simple for narrative.

Strong SS can expand the story to include names, characters of the people, what they are like, where they are.. etc.

If you’ve found this list useful, please send us your classroom ideas. If they’re any good, we’ll put them on the web page and share them with the world!

Craig Wealand

Send your classroom ideas.

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