Narrative tenses



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Narrative tenses”

by Vitalija Pliakuvienė

Azuolynas gymnasium

Age: young adults (9-11formers)

Level: Intermediate

Objective: to review form, meaning and use of narrative tenses

Key skills: Speaking, reading, writing

Materials: worksheets 1, 2, board and pens


TEACHER’S NOTES

Pre-teaching vocabulary



1.Tell the students that the aim of the lesson is to review narrative tenses. In order to do this you need to clarify some vocabulary. Start by eliciting the differences between steal, burgle and rob. The students could do this by using dictionaries.

Concept-check the meaning of each word by asking students questions, e.g. Can you steal a person/ Can you rob a bank/ Can you steal a car?…..




Verb form

noun

person

meaning

Steal-stole-stolen

Theft

Theft

To take something illegally(generally)

Burgle-burgle-burgled

Burglar

Burglar

To steal things from a building(especially from a house)

Rob-robbed-robbed

robbery

robber

To steal money from a place(especially a bank)

Organization or person



2. Give students the following key words and check their understanding.


Windscreen theatre London stolen Jaguar driving rich couple

Home police burgled




3.Task
Tell the students that these words are part of a story about crime.

Ask the students to work in pairs and compose a story using the above words .they can use the words in any order but shouldn’t change the form. Encourage students to use their imagination.



4. Reporting on the task

When the students have finished, ask some of them to read their stories.Ask other students to listen and check if readers have used all key words.

In feedback,ask the students which stories they liked best.
5. Grammar focus

Give out Worksheet 1 –The short story. Ask students to read it and compare how similar or different it is from their story. Then students should answer the comprehension questions in pairs to check their understanding.


6. Give out Worksheet 2 –grammar focus and ask students to do the first task(underlining verbs). Feedback and check that they understand the Past simple(it is used to narrate the main events in chronological order.
7. Ask the students to complete the table and check that they understand the different forms of the Past perfect (active/passive-had burgled/had been burgled).

8. Students can do exercises 3 and 4..It is important that students understand that the Past perfect is used when we are already talking about the past and want to refer to something that happens before this (the past in the past).

You can use a timeline to contrast past tenses. The Past continuous describes events in progress(sometimes interrupted by shorter actions in the past simple) and can also be used for descriptive details in the Past.

Timelines




A


  1. (2)

………………………………………………………………………………
Past Now Future

They were driving home (1)when they saw a their car (2).



B


(1) (2)

………………………………………………………………………………



Past Now Furture
We borrowed the car (2) as our car had broken down(1).
9. Exercise 5 checks the meaning and use of the three different narrative tenses focused on.
10.Ask the students if they used all the tenses correctly, then get them to go back to their original stories and correct their use of all past tenses. Also encourage them to add details using the Past continuous, the Past perfect.
11. Homework could be:

Give students another title or opening line to a different story to write and retell.



Worksheet 1 : The Story
Ann and Mike were a young, rich couple who lived and worked in the centre of London. Mike’s father had found them both lucrative jobs so they lived very comfortably.
One Sunday evening, they were driving home in their Jaguar, when they saw a car, closely resembling their Porsche, speeding in the opposite direction. They rushed home and to their horror, they discovered that their Porsche was not there: it had been stolen. They felt terrible and called the police, who said that they would do what they could help them.

However, to their surprise, when they got back home from work the following day, their precious car was outside their house. On the windscreen was a note, which said:

Thanks very much, we just borrowed the car to go to an important meeting as our car had broken down. Here are some tickets for the best seats at the theatre for tomorrow night.”
The next night, the couple happily went to the theatre and had a wonderful time. But when they got home, they were horrified to find that their house had been burgled.


Comprehension check
Answer the following questions:



  1. Why did the couple feel terrible in paragraph 2?

…………………………………………………………………………




  1. Why did they go to the theatre?

……………………………………………………………………….



  1. Who had burgled their house?

……………………………………………………………………………



Worksheet 2 : Grammar focus





  1. Underline all the verbs in the story. How many tenses are there? Which tense is the most common in a story?

  2. Find examples of the tenses in the story and complete the chart:




tense

examples from text




Were, lived, worked







Past perfect






  1. Look at the examples of the past perfect and decide which of the sentence endings (a-c) complete the rule. Circle the correct answer.





We use the past perfect…

a…to describe actions or situations which happened a long time ago.


b… to describe actions which are relevant in the present
c… when we are talking about the past and we want to talk about something that happened before this time.




  1. Look at the examples of the past continuous and Past simple and complete the rules with simple and continuous:



    1. We use the past…………………………………to show that something was in progress (it had started but had not finished).

    2. We use the past………………………………….for shorter, completed actions.

    3. We use the past…………………………………for consecutive past actions.




  1. Check your understanding by putting the verbs in the following passage in the correct past tense (simple, continuous, perfect).


Yesterday I……………(wake up) and then the sun…………(shine).


I………………..(get up) and…………………(have) a shower. While
I……………….(have) my shower, I…………(remember) that I
…………………..(have) a very strange dream.




  1. Now go back to your stories and check your use of narrative tenses. Correct any mistakes you have made.


ANSWER KEYS:
Ex. 1 key : There are four tenses used in total: past simple, past continuous, past perfect and present. The most common tense used in the story is the past simple.

Ex.2 key :


Tense

Examples from text


Past simple

Were, lived, worked, saw, rushed, discovered, felt, called, said, got back, borrowed, went, had

Past continuous

Were driving, was sitting


Past perfect

Had found, had been stolen,(passive), had broken down, had been burgled(passive)



Ex. 3 key: c



Ex. 4 key: a. continuous: b. simple: c. simple
Ex.5 key : Yesterday I woke up and the sun was shining. I got up and had a shower. While I was having my shower, I remembered that I had had a very strange dream.






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