Simple Past Grammar Lesson

The simple past is a fundamental building block of English grammar that young learners should learn early on. We’ve recently developed a third version of our popular Simple Past lesson with more explanations, illustrations, and engaging exercises! (more…)

Modals of Ability: Can & Could

The English language has many modals—words that come before verbs and provide extra meaning such as ability, necessity, possibility, etc. The modals of ability, can and could, are useful for students to learn early on. We’ve created a new Modals of Ability lesson that centers around a common theme: hobbies and leisure activities! (more…)

Simple Past

What did you do yesterday? The simple past is a fundamental building block of English grammar that young learners should learn early on. Our revamped Simple Past lesson makes it easy and fun to teach this common verb tense! (more…)

Pronunciation of Past Tense Endings

Many languages have a one-to-one spelling-pronunciation relationship, but the English language has no such thing! This is why English pronunciation is difficult for learners to master. On top of the 26 vowel sounds and many tricky consonant sounds such as “th”, students need to learn the pronunciation of endings that change according to the last sound of the word. For example, the past tense ending -ed can be pronounced as /t/, /d/, or /ɪd/ depending on the last letter of the verb. Luckily there are rules for such cases!

Today’s blog post was inspired by this week’s Spotlight lesson, Juan and Sofia – Simple Past Reading, which has an exercise on the spelling rules for adding -ed (the past tense ending of regular verbs). I thought it would be helpful to blog about the different ways of pronouncing the -ed ending. Note that I use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) in this post. Play the audio examples at the end of this article for pronunciation practice for your students or children.

1. Pronounce the -ed ending as /t/ following voiceless consonants. (more…)

Juan and Sofia – Simple Past Reading

Are your students or children ready for a review of the basic verb tenses? This week’s Spotlight lesson, Juan and Sofia – Simple Past Reading, includes the simple present, present progressive, and simple past tenses, and will engage your kids with a hilarious story and fun, educational activities!

This lesson includes a short reading, comprehension questions, sentence puzzles, a crossword, and a group discussion activity to review the simple present, present progressive, and simple past. There is also a helpful spelling review on forming the past tense of regular verbs.

All of the readings in our Library section have a digital component, so teachers and parents can choose how to present the reading and comprehension questions—either on paper or online!

Other simple past resources: (more…)

Past Progressive Game for Young Learners: What Were You Doing?

This week in the Spotlight, we’re featuring a lesson from our Library on the Past Progressive. An easy way to start practicing the past progressive is with clock times. Kids love talking about themselves and their lives outside of the classroom. Try this activity after you’ve reviewed the structure of the past progressive.

Preparation: Print and Cut

Print this FREE 3-page PDF to use with the “What were you doing?” activities below.

Page 1: Print as many copies as you need of the Time of Day sheet. Cut the clocks out, and give each student one or more clocks to fill out. Have an envelope or container handy to put the clocks in after students write times on them.
Page 2: Print one page of Days of the Week strips for the class and cut them into strips. Place them in an envelope or container.
Page 3: Print one Day Planner page for each student for the Personal Assistants activity.

Past Progressive Activity (more…)

Turn Off the TV – Dialogue

Turn Off the TV, in the Simple Past Dialogues 2 category of the Conversation Station, is Sprout English’s lesson of the week.

This one-page dialogue is the perfect way to review the simple present, present progressive, and simple past. All three tenses are used naturally in this conversation between a father and his daughter. The topic of a parent wanting a child to stop watching TV and go study is something kids can definitely relate to! (more…)