Number one for English language teachers

Last week: past simple

Type: General lesson plan

Students take part in a small group, information-gap and puzzle-solving activity to practise the past simple.

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Readers' comments (10)

  • These kinds of activities often seem difficult for beginners at the start, but it's always possible to try out one or two tasks before letting the students work ahead. In that sense, I like these sorts of activities because they do work pretty quickly once students get it.

    It's possible to even use a template of the schedules for groups of students who are familiar with each other. The teacher could divide large classes into groups, have them fill in activities on blank schedules (the activities don't have to be real), and exchange sets with other groups. They could then make similar questions about the other group's weeks.

    Altering the question formats for the original set is also possible, with a battleships activity as one option. Students try to find the activities on specific days and at certain times. It would work best if all the possible activities for all four friends were on the board, and questioning could be as follows:
    'Did Tom play/see a volleyball match on Saturday at 3pm?'
    'No, he didn't. He went to/played a football match at 2:30 on that day.'

    In other words, there are quite a few follow-up or different things that teachers can do with schedule activities in their classes. There is a great potential for lots of output.

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  • Excellent tips! Thanks so much for supporting other teachers.
    The onestopenglish team

  • Apologies for my typo

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  • I agree with Gill. I would just ask the students to look for the same time of day in each card and find matching times. This will then help them to select whilst learning to do comparatives too.
    E.g "Alex's diary has the same event as Tom' diary".

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  • Hi Gill,

    Thanks for your feedback and the nice comments. That is an excellent suggestion for a lesson. Please do let us know how your students get on with this activity.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • Thank you for your great worksheets and resources. This particular one looks like a great activity - I'm not sure why other commentators feel it is too difficult for this level. I'd elicit the names at the top of each diary page and do one example with the learners before they start.

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  • It is very complicated for beginners.

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  • Hi Mark,

    The names are written on the top of the diary cards that students are given.

    Hope that helps.
    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • How is the student supposed to know that, for example, Alex meets Tom, when their names are not mentioned in their diaries? Thanks.

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  • Hi Sydney,

    Can you explain a bit further about what you mean?

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • too complicated

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