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ESL forum > Ask for help > When is the right age to teach children Simple Past ?    

When is the right age to teach children Simple Past ?


When is the right age to teach children Simple Past ?
Let īs say they are in elementary school, what would be the appropiate age?
I would like to know how to teach them as well

19 Jan 2012      


You can teach simple past to young children as long as you keep it simple and within their range of experience :)
at first do not teach grammar, let them learn verbs like: worked, ate, went... only verbs they can use on a daily basis to explain what they did during the day - you can explain there are regular and irregular verbs but no more.
to introduce the verbs you can use images and give the verbs but take out another element (like that: http://www.eslprintables.com/printable.asp?id=351853#thetop but make it simpler with verbs they use when talking about their daily routine for example)
they won īt need to understand the verbs as long as the rest of the vocabulary has already been learnt!
and make sure that once you īve done the simple past you use it regularly - at the begining of every lesson...

19 Jan 2012     


From my experience.... when I taught small children I used rhymes and games such as:
What did you have for lunch yesterday?
A chicken? Who had chicken too? Kate? Oh and Mark too, good etc... or what did you see yesterday? Tell me.
- I saw the sun....
- And I saw my dog ...
etc as they could see many things you can also help them/to draw the info from them, insisting on the correct use of the verbs. Then I started a quiz in which I wrote on the message board mixed words my pupils used during the exercise. Their task was to copy in their copybooks only verbs in the Past Tense, later they had to construct simple sentences matching the verb and the ciorrect noun. For the kids who couldn īt write I did the exercise orally.

19 Jan 2012     

Czech Republic

If I were you, I would definitely teach past simple in context - in sentences. You may start with very common regular verbs and then irregular verbs. For example:
played games, watched TV, washed hair, cleaned room, brushed my teeth, walked in park, tidied kitchen, water the plants, cycled in the garden, climbed trees, borrow a book from a library, changed shoes, helped Mum, listened to music, moved house, opened/closed a door, talked with friends, travelled abroad, waited in a queue, worked hard, prepared lunch, mopped the floor, ...
+ time - at 6 o īclock, yesterday, last Monday, 4 days ago
common irregulars: read a magazine, slept in class Wink, made oneīs bed/sandwiches, ate dinner, drank tea, went to..., sang a song, did homework, broke a leg/thing, cut oneīs finger, felt ill, flew abroad, gave presents, left home, met neighbours, sent postcards, spoke English, took medicine, woke up, won a game, wrote a story, bought food, swam in a pool/sea, drove a car, learnt Maths, taught kids, ran fast, set the table ...
(Follow your syllabus, the verbs your students know already...)

Ask your students "What did you do yesterday?" (Optional: last holiday / 3 days ago / last weekend?)
Write the list of  activities on the board.
Each student draws one activity - students make flashcards. You write the verbs on the back of the cards (use A4 or A5 paper). Use those cards to teach :-D and play games and revise.

The graded readers and simplified fairy tales are fantastic source of irregular and regular verbs in context. Start with children stories, film summaries... something your kids know already...
try FREE simple audiobooks there, all books at YEAR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 contain past simple (ir)regular.

Play conversation games with easy questions - eg:
Who tidied the kitchen? Mum tidied kitchen.
Who cooked the dinner? Dad cooked the dinner.
Who washed up? Mary washed up.
Who ate a banana? Monkey ate a banana.

Play tic-tac-toe. (rows = subjects - family members, animals. columns - activities- verbs).

20 Jan 2012     


thank you! all of you guys!
It was really useful

25 Jan 2012