1.6.4 Past Simple (Questions) Lesson Plan

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In the BrainPOP ESL movie, What Did You Bring? (L1U6L4), Ben and Moby go on a camping trip. Find out what they brought with them and why as they ask each other questions in the past simple tense. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, students participate in activities that encourage them to ask yes/no and wh- questions using the past simple tense.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Collaborate writing interview questions and answers based on the movie, and perform the interviews for the class.
  2. Ask and answer questions in the past simple about their activities.
  3. Ask questions in the past simple to complete a questionnaire.

Materials:

Vocabulary:

did/didn’t, was/wasn't, were/weren’t, who, what, where, when, why, how

Preparation:

For Activity 2 (What Did You Do Last Weekend?), write the following question words on index cards: Did, Were, Was, Who, Where, When, What, Why. You can make more than one card with the same word so that there are enough cards for each student in the class.

For Activity 4 (Pictures), have students bring to school old photos of themselves or of someone close to them.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Interview. After a repeated viewing of the movie What Did You Bring? (L1U6L4), have partners role-play an interview. One student is a reporter and the other student is Ben. The reporter asks questions about the camping trip using the past simple tense, and Ben responds, also using the past simple. Encourage students to ask yes/no and wh- questions and to use complete sentences to answer questions. When the partners have finished writing the interview, allow them time to practice, and then perform their interviews for the class.

    For example:

    Reporter: Did you go camping last summer?

    Ben: No, we didn’t go camping because it was too hot.

    Reporter: What did you bring to wear?

    Ben: I brought a lot of sweaters and Moby brought a lot of shirts.

  2. What Did You Do Last Weekend? In this activity, students ask each other about what they did over the weekend using past simple questions. To play, provide each student in the class with a Question Word card that you made in Preparation. Students construct a question in the past simple using the word on their card as the first word in their question. The question should ask about something that may have happened over the weekend. Each student in the small group is to answer the question, also using the past simple.

    For example, if the word on the card is “Where,” the student might ask, “Where did you go this weekend?"

    Another student might answer, “I went to the movies on Saturday night.”

    If necessary, you can model a few questions. For example, for the word “Did,” ask, “Did you spend time with your family?”
  3. Find Someone Who... Together with the class, brainstorm a list of common (and not so common) activities. Have them copy the phrases, leaving blanks to enter students' names. For example: watch a movie last night / go camping / bring your lunch to school / have a birthday last month / do your homework / go to sleep early / play basketball yesterday / eat breakfast this morning. Students must turn the phrases into questions in the past simple. For example, Did you see a movie last night? They walk around the classroom, ask the questions, and fill in as many of their classmates’ names as possible. The student who has filled in the most names in the time allotted is the winner. Then they report their findings to the class in complete sentences.
  4. Pictures. In preparation for this activity have students bring to class an old picture of themselves, or someone close to them. Partners sit together and ask each other questions about the picture. Encourage students to use wh- questions, as well. All questions should be in the past simple.