Last weekend: past simple questions

ice dancingThis past simple conversation activity helps give students practice of forming ‘did’ questions. Obviously, it’s best to do this on a Monday but you could do it at any time and change the time period focused on. For example, do it on a Friday and focus on events which have happened during the week.

First, ask the students to think of two things they did over the weekend. Stress that they don’t have to be particularly exciting events (I cleaned my room, I bought some food, etc) . Give two examples of your own. For example. I went to a restaurant, I watched a movie.

Divide the board in half and write your first weekend activity at the top of the first section. Ask students to think of questions they could ask you to get more information about the activity. Go round the class eliciting questions and answering them. List each question in the first section of the board. When the class has run dry, move onto the second example and list the second set of questions.

Ask students to now share their weekend activities. The first student reveals the first activity and the other students should now write down one or two questions which they could ask to acquire more information about the event. Give the students a minute or two to write the questions and then ask the first student for the second action and again students write down one or two questions. Repeat this process for each student in turn, the writing period needed will probably get shorter as the students get better at forming the questions.

When all the questions have been written, return to the first student and ask them to give their first activity  again. Now starting with the student directly  on their left go round the class letting each student ask one question about the first student’s first event which the student answers in as much depth as they would like. Keep going around the circle until the questions have run dry. Now move onto the second student and repeat the process until all the students have given their first example.

If it’s a smallish class you could repeat the above for each student’s second example. Alternatively, if the class is larger, you could put them into groups or pairs and let them free-form questions about each student’s second activity. At the end have students report back what they have learnt from each other.


2 thoughts on “Last weekend: past simple questions

  1. Hello there… Just wondering why the board was divided in half. No mention of the 2nd section is provided in your explanation for the speaking activity.

    • Hi Sue, thanks for asking. The board is divided in half because I suggest the teacher models the exercise with two different examples, I divide the board just to keep them separate. With two examples we hopefully get a nice mix of interesting example questions. Sorry that wasn’t clear, I’ll update the text to clarify it.

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