Teaching the Present Simple – Practical Tips
Suggestions for Oral or Writing Activities:
What do you usually do during the summer?
I usually wake up…
In the afternoon…
In the evening…
and during the school year?
Do you have any special interests / hobbies?
What do you like to do?
Use the following Time / Frequency Expressions:
every day, in the morning / afternoon / evening, twice a week, in the summer / winter
Reading Comprehension Text
You can use this text to review / reinforce the Present Simple.
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.
a. Sleep is a subject many people like to talk about. Some complain that they don't get enough sleep because they are too busy. Others complain that It takes them hours to fall asleep. Anyway, whenever the conversation turns to the subject of sleep, most people have something to say about it. After all, by the time you are twenty, you have probably had more than seven years of solid sleep experience.
b. For the average young person, sleep is not a problem. Teenagers usually drop off as soon as their head hits the pillow. Unless there is an important exam or a sports competition the following day, nothing will interfere with their falling asleep. Exams and sports may not be the only obstacle. Falling in love may also account for many sleepless nights.
c. Certain people need perfect conditions in order to fall asleep. The room must be completely dark, the temperature should neither be too warm nor too cool, the mattress has to be perfect, and most important of all, there must be absolute silence. Even then, it may take them hours to fall asleep. On the other hand, there are people who will fall asleep anywhere, anytime: on the bus, on a plane, in front pf the T.V. and even in the middle of an English lesson…
a. Circle the most suitable answers.
1. Most people have something to say about sleep (paragraph a) since
a. they don't sleep enough.
b. they are experienced sleepers.
c. it comes up in the conversation.
2. A youngster may not be able to sleep (paragraph b) due to
c. both a and b.
3. Among the perfect conditions mentioned in paragraph c, we find:
a. a comfortable bed.
b. a big room.
c. an electric blanket.
4. The phrase drop off in paragraph b means:
a. fall off
b. fall asleep
c. wake up
5. The phrase account for in paragraph b means:
a. be the reason for
b. count numbers
c. sum up
b. Answer the following questions.
1. What word in paragraph a means topic?
2. What phrase in paragraph b means the moment?
3. What word in paragraph b means contest?
c. State whether the following sentences are TRUE or FALSE. Correct the false sentences and then rearrange all the sentences in chronological order according to the passage.
Tension may interfere with falling asleep.
Everybody needs perfect conditions to fall asleep.
Few people have anything to say about sleep.
Most people don't like to talk about sleep.
Sleep is not a problem for the average person.
Everybody will fall asleep immediately if there is absolute silence.
Suggestions for texts to be used when teaching the Interrogative and Negative forms of the Present Simple.
Dialogue / Role – Play
Uri: Do you play tennis?
Sharon: No, I do not. I do not play tennis, but I play basketball better than anyone else in class.
Uri: Do you get high grades in Chemistry?
Sharon: No, I do not, but I get top grades in Math.
Uri: Do you play the guitar?
Sharon: No, I do not, but I play the piano. My teacher says I am very talented.
Uri: Do you dance well?
Sharon: Yes, I dance much better than most people I know.
Uri: Do you sing as well?
Sharon: Of course I do. I have a great voice.
Uri: You obviously have a high opinion bout yourself. Do you have many friends?
Sharon: No, I do not. I don't have many friends. I wonder why…
You can use this text to teach / review the Interrogative and full / short Negative forms. The text can also be used to stimulate oral or writing activities. Students may be asked to describe (using the Present Simple whenever possible) people that remind them of Sharon or that are very different from Sharon. Students may discuss people that are mostly arrogant or very modest.
And that's all for today.
You may wish to use the Map of the Cycle of the Present – מפת ההווה.pdf – for review and reinforcement.
For more activities / exercises on the Present Simple, please see:
דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ' 10 – 14
The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 10 – 16