Building vocabulary using the past tense:
Teach a few verbs at a time.
Start with regular verbs and then irregular.
Ask students to construct sentences that show they know what the word means.
Ask students to think of one thing they did today.
Have learners say what they did one at a time, going around a circle.
Each learner must repeat what everyone before him/her said, and add their own activity.
Juan: Today I went to the bank.
Stephanie: Today Juan went to the bank, and I did laundry.
Louis: Today Juan went to the bank, Stephanie did laundry and I walked the dog.
Use sentences from exercises done before and convert them to the past tense.
You could also do this exercise with either real or invented newspaper articles written in the present tense.
Word Exercise and Pronunciation:
Write this list (or your own list) in the board and help learners to write the past tense.
Then practice pronunciation.
Our suggestion to practice pronunciation is to work face to face with one learner at a time. Meanwhile the rest of the class could do another activity.
We pronounce /t/ after voiceless sounds: p, k, f, s - helped, laughed, guessed
We pronounce /d/ after voiced sounds: b,g,v,z,m,n,l,r and all vowels - rubbed, lived, seemed
We pronounce /ed/ after /d/ or /t/ sounds.
Ask students who was a hero (or famous person) in their countries and ask what this famous person did.
Help students build vocabulary by asking them questions about the person they choose in order to make sentences about their local heroes.
They can write sentences in their notebooks or on the board.
Favaloro was a famous doctor from Argentina. He invented Bypass surgery.
Eva Peron was a social worker. She got the vote for women.
When all the students in the class have talked about their heroes, help the students write sentences on the board about their heroes.
The class should then guess who they are talking about.
The person I choose got the vote for women? Who is she?
Who got the vote for women?
Help students ask questions with WHY.
One learner should ask a question, another should answer.
Why was Favaloro famous? / He was famous because he invented Bypass surgery.
Why was Eva Peron famous? / She was famous because she got the vote for women.
Identifying and Comprehending:
Ask learners to read articles from the newspaper.
As they read, ask them to circle all the verbs in Past Tense.
Then ask them to go back and circle all the words they know.
Finally, facilitate a discussion about what the article was about.
The Simple Past of ‘To Be’: Was vs. Were