Lesson Plan: Present Perfect/Past Simple for Travel

Start the lesson by asking your students to discuss the following questions in pairs for a few minutes and then get some feedback.

  • Do you like to travel?
  • When did you last travel somewhere?
  • What is your most memorable travel experience?

Step 1 – Presentation

Now, ask students to brainstorm some countries and put them on one side of the board.

Ask a few sudents ‘Have you (ever) been to…?‘ If they say yes, ask some questions in the past simple to get more information.

  • Where did you visit?/Which city did you visit?
  • How long did you stay?
  • Who did you go with?
  • Why did you go there?
  • What did you do there?
  • Did you like it?

Step 2 – Practice with a dash of production


Elicit the the first question you asked from your students (present perfect) – board on left. Elicit the other questions (past simple) – board on right. Elicit name, form and why we use present perfect/past simple. Board grammar – including positive and negative examples for your students.

Present Perfect = experiences (finished action – action important, not time)

Past Simple = finished action (time/specific information important)

Instruct your students to do some practice in pairs. Student A ask a question in present perfect to Student B (using countries on the board if needed). If Student B says yes, ask more questions in past simple. If Student B says no, student B to now ask a question in present perfect and so on.

Give them 5-10 minutes depening on the level of the class.

*Note down any mistakes for delayed error correction (step 5)


Before we focused on experiences travelling to countries now I like to go through some examples of activities we experience while travelling. Brainstorm some activites including the verb (to ride an elephant, to go scuba diving,etc.) and put them on the other side of the board. Get the students to now practice the grammar again but with activities.

*Note down any mistakes for delayed error correction

Step 3 – More practice

Ok, so we’ve presented the grammar, practiced and had some nice production going on – but where’s the worksheet?

Give your students the worksheet. For the first and third activity they should do individually and then compare in pairs. If you are teaching a lower level class or they are struggling a little I would get them to do the second activity in pairs, otherwise follow the steps above.

Step 4 – Production,
production and more

There are several ways that we can get the students to produce the target language but that’s going to depend on the level, the students’ abilities and the time frame – you will have to adapt this lesson to suite your needs.


  • You could get the students to write questions for pair/group discussion
  • Write about their travel experiences


  • Hand out a Find Someone Who
  • Create a Find Someone Who with the class
  • Board Game

Step 5 – Error Correction

During this lesson you should have been noting down any mistakes the students made with the grammar. Number and put them on board. Tell students every sentence has a mistake and it’s their job to find the mistake and correct it.

If you want to jazz it up a little you could put them in pairs or smalls groups and award points for corrections.


Lesson Plan: Polite Questions in English

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to my students in the cafeteria saying ‘give me chicken sandwich’ or ‘I want coke’ like they’re a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals. Now, I know it’s not their fault – they simply don’t know any better – and in their language it might not even be necessary to be polite. However, as they are now in England I always make it my mission to teach my students to be as polite as possible.

So without further ado here is a nice little lesson I’ve used with B1 – B2 classes to turn those Neanderthals into proper English gentlemen and ladies.

Lesson Plan: Grammar Review and Conversation with a Twist

This is a useful little game I like to play with my class to review grammar and practice speaking. It’s also handy if you have to cover a lesson with 2 minutes notice or are incredibly hungover.

Important: You will need four packs of playing cards (a great investment for any teacher)

First, I start the class off by asking a few students four questions;

  • What do you usually do on Mondays?
  • What did you do on the weekend?
  • What will you do next weekend?
  • Have you been to Paris?

Next, I split the board in four squares and elicit the four questions, putting each question in one of the four squares. Elicit the name for each grammar tense. I usually give students 5 minutes to then discuss with each other why we use these grammar tenses and what is the form of a question.

Your board should now look something like this (knowing me, it will look a lot messier ;p). Now elicit some example questions and board them but remind your students you want conversation questions so ‘What is your name?’ is not an acceptable example.

Note: You can adapt the game by changing the grammar tenses to whatever suites your needs. I’ve also played this with reviewing conditionals and it worked just fine. You can even simplify these grammar points by just focusing on the auxiliary verbs ‘do/does’ and ‘did’.

After all this brainstorming from students and helpful ideas from the teacher (depending on the participation of the class) the student’s should now be ready to do some practice. Split the class into four groups and assign a grammar point to each group. Ask them now to copy the three questions on the board for their grammar point and write 10 more on one piece of paper (numbering each question 1-13).

Monitor students making sure they’re using the grammar correctly but most importantly writing interesting questions for discussion. In total, each group will have 13 questions so if my mathematical abilities are still up to scratch 13 x 4 = 52. Fifty two questions! Enough questions to make even the most timid student speak for a good 10 minutes.

Now if you haven’t already figured it out this is where the playing cards come in to play. Collect their questions draw ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ on each set of questions, run to the photocopier, make four copies (double sided of course – we have to do our bit for the environment) and give a copy of all the questions to each group along with a pack of cards. One student should take a card, find the question, discuss the question in the group and continue the steps until all the questions have been exhausted. et voilà an engaging, productive and enjoyable lesson for all.

Extremely Informal Phrasal Verbs

English speakers love phrasal verbs like a fat man loves cake but they are often a problem for students as there are more than 10,000 of them and one phrasal verb can have several different meanings depending on the context.

Today we will focus on some very informal, extremely rude and wonderfully useful phrasal verbs you can use to talk about partying and relationships. However, they should only be used with friends or people you know well. You have been warned

Note: sb = somebody

to fuck up

In general, to fuck up means to make a mistake.

E.g. ‘I fucked up on my English test last week‘ or ‘I forgot my girlfriends birthday last week. I totally fucked up!

to make out

Making out with somebody is similar to kissing somebody but that kind of kiss you wouldn’t want your parents to see because, let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to see your parents make out either.

E.g. ‘Did you see Daryl making out with Hannah at the party last night?‘ or ‘I made out with a girl last night in the club

to hook up

This is something we’ve all been guilty of at some point in time, especially when we were younger. This means meeting a person, usually at a bar or a party and then at some point during the night persuading them or being persuaded to have some fun in the bedroom.

E.g. ‘Did you hook up with anyone last night?‘ or ‘I hooked up with some guy last night and had the best sex of my life.

to pick sb up

Means to go to a bar, a club, a party, etc. with the intention of meeting someone to bring back home and have sex with.

E.g. ‘Let’s go to a club tonight to pick up some girls.

to pass out

Have you ever drunk so much alcohol that you fell asleep and woke up wondering where you were and what happened? If yes, then you have definitely passed out.

E.g. ‘I was so drunk I passed out as soon as I got home

to get fucked up

Getting very, very drunk.

E.g. ‘Did you have a good time at the party? Yeah, I got really fucked up and hooked up with someone.

to sleep around

When your just not ready for the commitment of a relationship and you just want to have some fun with other fellow human beings.

E.g. ‘I used to sleep around in my twenties until I met my wife.

to feel/touch sb up

When somebody touches you/puts their hands on you in a sexual way.

E.g. ‘Some guy tried to feel me up at the club last night so I threw a drink in his face.‘ or ‘Did you have sex with that guy last night? No, I just let him feel me up.

to mess/fool around with sb

When you do sexual things with someone but not sex. You meet someone at a club, dance all night, go home with the person with the intention of sex but you’re just too tired or not as interested as you were now that you’ve sobered up. Or perhaps you just don’t feel comfortable with having sex but you want to do something; because something is always better than nothing.

E.g. ‘Did you have sex last night? No, we just messed around a little.

to hit on sb

A direct way to show your interest in someone. Some would say it’s an art form and some would say it’s just a game of numbers. Either way, it means to compliment/flirt with someone in order to have sex with that person.

E.g. ‘Are you hitting on me?‘ or ‘I’ve never been able to hit on someone. It’s too embarrassing!’

to cheat on sb

When you have sex with another person (not your boyfriend/girlfriend) while in a relationship. This is a terrible, terrible thing to do to someone but if you have done it, just know Karma is just around the corner waiting for your arse.

E.g. ‘I broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend last year because he/she cheated on me.

to fuck with sb

When you joke with someone. Usually a friend because you want to see their face drop when they realise you are joking and you haven’t really killed their cat while they were away on holiday.

E.g. ‘Relax Adam, it’s just a joke. I was fucking with you.‘ or ‘Are you fucking with me? How did you get a flight to New York for only £19?!