MES English
The outline for MES-English's  Speaking First Curriculum  designed by Mark Cox.

Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 5, Unit 6, Unit 7, Unit 8, Unit 9, Unit 10Unit 11, Unit 12, Unit 13, Unit 14, Unit 15, Unit 16

Unit 12:



running content supporting materials

"There is/are... +pp"

regular past tense with -ed and hopefully a few irregular forms

previous units target language and running content

Supporting materials for there is/are ...

Supporting materials for past tense



target language
phase 1
  • What are they? They're astronauts.
  • Past tense with -ed
  • Irregular past (go, eat, read, write, take, ...)
phase 2
  • I want to be a ... in the future.
  • making commands, imperative described
  • describing workers jobs, "A vet works at a clinic."
  • Review of past tense questions and negatives
  • Giving directions to a place
phase 3
  • Role-play asking for directions in town
  • tag questions with "do", An astronaut works at ..., doesn't he?/right?
  • verbs not often used in the continuous - have, like, want


Mark's Notes:

  • Wow! We have a lot to practice in our running content.  We've introduced future tense phrases, 3rd person singular practice, relative clauses, and comparative practice. We're going to be adding just a bit more and a really important set, preps of movement, so take it slow. 
  • There aren't a lot of ready-made worksheets for this unit.  You can always make your own worksheets at Tools for Educators, which has all of these images to use.


Phase 1:  Although there are only 3 content heading in this unit, you might be here for a while.  There is only one suggested review or noun unit here but certain feel free to add a couple if you need more time to practice.

The People 2 set has workers doing their jobs and the difference is workers.  Each card has a plural version and I only use the plural version.  With People set 1 we practiced "What's he?", now that the students are versed in the plural they should be able to ask "What are they?" "They're dentists," I'm really just trying to expand vocabulary at this point and build for phase two where we'll really begin using the vocabulary.

Prepositions of movement are quite difficult for my students so I spend a few lessons with just the ball and movement flashcards.  Then another unit or 3-4 lessons with the characters in action.  I like to introduce the preps of movement by using a ball.  I will place the ball in different places and ask, "Where is the ball?" The students have learned their prepositions, so they can answer.  I then point out that the ball isn't moving.  Next, I begin moving the ball and eliciting what might be happening.  I focus just on the movement and don't make sentences, "under the box", "around the box", into the box" etc. It isn't until I get to actual character that I bother with sentences, but you certainly could get the to say, "The ball is going around the box."

Verbs 5 is a straight forward vocabulary set.  I don't really work with the verbs in sentences.  I teach the vocabulary via drilling and practice with games like Memory, Slap and Bingo.

You can use any one or two noun/vocabulary sets as a buffer here or grab an old topic for review.  The noun set will build vocabulary while you are strengthening speaking competence with the target language and running content in this unit. Bringing back an old topic can really build confidence as well.

Running content notes:

We're adding prepositional phrases to our "there is ,.," sentences.  You may have already done that, but for my students the English word order is difficult, so I've just be practicing the noun only.  I just wanted to get in a nice habit and now we can start to add more to our sentences.

We've been practicing the past tense for a while passively in our running content, asking the students "Did you ...?"  You may have been modeling the answers and some past tense structures, but at this point, we really want to show it to them.  This is how you do it.  Add -ed to actions and practice that for a few weeks.  Later explain that some actions don't take -ed and that they change completely.

Phase 2: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.



Phase 3: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.



With each phase I post a bit about some of the main things I do with my students to introduce and practice the language.  Each group is different in size, age and level, so if you have questions about what might work best for your group or want to discuss how to modify an activity or share a successful activity you have, please join the forums and MES community.  We'd love to discuss these things with you.






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