English Lesson Plan: Practice past tenses


Objective: Students will be able to talk about their past experiences in the workplace/life

Reading: Ss will be able to identify different uses of past tenses.

Writing: Correct each other’s work`

Speaking: Perform an interview in English.

This should take over an hour. Intermediate Level.

*You need copies of interviews. Use gossip websites or magazines, or newspaper websites if you need something more professional looking.

*In pairs, students tell you what the interview is about.

*Have them underline the questions, and go over the grammar on the whiteboard (eg, why do they use the present perfect here? Because the time the action happened is not important, they are describing an experience.)

*Write the points below on the whiteboard (or you can have it already prepared on a sheet of paper.)

-the name of someone you have known for over ten years (but not a family member)

-a film you have seen recently (in the cinema or at home.)

-a place you went to on vacation when you were a child.

-a personal possession you have had for more than five years.

-the name of your best friend at elementary school.

-a city or country you have been to that you did not like.

-something you got for Christmas last year.

-a place you’ve been to that’s very beautiful.

-a job you have had in your life that you did not like

-something that you have wanted to buy for a long time.

-the name of someone you have talking to on the phone this week.

* Check/pre teach following words (recently/possession)

* Students must write answers to the points in a random order in the different circles. They should write words, short phrases, but not complete sentences. Set a time limit of 5 or ten minutes.

* Students work in pairs and swap their papers with their partner. Students then have to ask questions to find out why their partners have written words in the circles: eg ‘why have you written Italy?” Who’s Carlos?” etc. The other student must reply using the correct tense.

Write up the names of the grammar tenses below and ask the students to tell you when we use each one. OR for a less advanced group, write the rules and tenses on the white board randomly, and ask the students to match rules to the tense. Draw timelines on the board to illustrate:

Past Simple: is used to talk about a finished action that happened at a specific time.

Past Continuous: is used to talk about an ongoing action in the past.

Present Perfect: is used to talk about something that happened in the past at an unspecified time/life experiences/past actions that affect us now. It is used a lot in the news.

Present Perfect Continuous: to descibe an action that began in the past and continues in the present.

‘I used to + infinitive…’ : a phrase to describe a habitual action that does not happen now.

And now some discussion and chat to finish!

*At the end, students report back most interesting fact they found out about their partner.

*To confirm understanding, students match the sentences they made about the circles to each grammar tense above.

teachers: want to find more students to teach?

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