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All-in-One Activity




EDITED BYFiona Steele

GRAMMAR: Verb - Past Tense

EXAMPLEDid you study English?

DATE ADDED: July 02, 2007


15-30 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: This activity has the students reading, writing, speaking and listening to one another in a find-your-partner like activity.



  • A5 scratch paper for each student
  • A grammar point that can be adapted to make a question and answer



  1. Teach the grammar point. Give plenty of examples. The aim is to have each student come up with some original statements based on the target grammar. The more help you give them in the early stages the better. The grammar point I used for this activity was: I studied English. Did you study English? Yes, I did/ No, I didn’t. Therefore, this particular grammar was ready to go; no adaptation needed. As long as there is a question and an answer, the activity should work.
  2. After giving your students the appropriate tools, give them the A5 paper and ask them to fold it in half twice. This will give them four spaces to write.
  3. Ask them to use the first part of the grammar: I studied English, to make their own responses. Write these in the second section and fourth sections of the page. For example, “I played video games, I went to Jusco…”; whatever they can think of. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just important they write something interesting/unique, even if it means giving a hundred examples on the board. Oh, and finally, they must not write their name!
  4. Collect the pieces of paper and highlight one of the 100 or so examples you have written on the board. Quintessential example: I ate natto. Then explain how to write the question ‘Did you eat natto?’ Finally, you can introduce ‘Yes, I did/No, I didn't’...and that forms the basis for the next part of the activity.
  5. Give the sheets back to the students, but don’t give them back to their respective owners.
  6. Give the students about 5 minutes to read their fellow students paper and write the questions for the answers in the spaces that are free (section 1 and 3).
  7. Finally, have everyone stand up, mingle and ask each other the questions they wrote on the pieces of paper (section 1 and 3). If a student answers ‘Yes, I did,’ to both questions then they must surely be the student who wrote the initial sentences. Students can confirm by asking, “Is this your paper?” Of course, having more than one question to ask/answer will narrow down the possibility of exchanging the wrong work (in the rare case you get 32 students writing ‘I ate natto’).



  • Students may want to bypass negotiations in English by simply holding up the paper and saying, “Dareno!”…etc. I find threatening them with suitable punishments; removing their fingernails with pliers, cutting their hands off - complete with diagrams on the board of procedures - effective in curbing this form of cheating.





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