Past Simple – lesson ideas for A2 students
This time I decided to share with you four different ideas for teaching the past simple tense to learners at A2 level. What I really want to focus on is to make students think, be creative and productive. Besides, I think that encouraging our learners to cooperate in pairs and groups has a real value and may only positively affect the way they work and learn.
Ex. 1 Becky’s morning in NYC
The first exercise is an introduction to the following one. I would strongly recommend that your students find the verbs in the unfamiliar text. In addition to giving some practice in using the past simple tense, the activity will promote your students learning some American words and comparing them with their British equivalents.
Ex. 2 What did I do a moment ago?
On the board write down the question: “What did I do a moment ago?” Then ask your students to close their eyes and keep them closed until you say, “Open your eyes.”
Meanwhile change five things related to you or (and) the classroom. It can be funny things such as taking off one shoe (if you are courageous enough), putting on big sunglasses or a straw hat, drawing a picture on the board, moving a chair, sitting down on a chair, putting your handbag on someone’s desk, drinking some water from a plastic bottle, etc. It would be a good idea to encourage your students to use mostly the verbs which appeared in the text about Becky’s morning. When students open their eyes, point to the board and ask: “What did I do a moment ago?” Students look around and answer the question.
Ex. 3 What did you do yesterday?
Split your students into small groups. Ask them to look at the pictures and answer the question above in at least three sentences. They are supposed to use the prompt nouns provided. Depending on the level, they may need some help from the teacher.
1. I met a famous painter. I painted a wonderful picture. I bought new paints.
2. I left my car in the garage. I drove my sister to the airport. I took my car to the mechanic.
3. I had a nice telephone conversation with my friend. I got a phone call from my aunt. I called my aunt from my mobile phone.
4. I went to work. I worked with my team. I had an important conference.
Ex. 4 I am curious why/what time/who…with/ where…?
Prepare enough sentences for each student to get one. You may use the sentences below and cut them into slips. Distribute the slips among your learners. Tell them they will work in pairs (student A and student B). Student A asks the other student what he or she did yesterday. Student B answers the question using the sentence on the slip. Then student A asks more specific questions using the question words: why, who, what time, where. Student A takes notes on what he or she learnt from student B. Then they take turns. After they have finished, ask some individuals to say everything he or she learnt about what their partner did yesterday.
|I went to the cinema.|
|I called my best friend.|
|I watched a movie on TV.|
|I went for a walk in the park.|
|I surfed the internet.|
|I had a video chat on messenger.|
|I went shopping.|
|I met my best friend at a café.|
|I visited my aunt in a hospital.|
|I tidied my room.|
|I cooked dinner for five people.|
|I read an article in a magazine.|
Exercises 1 – 4 – Instructions for the teacher (printable)
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