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Group: Any size
Level: Beginner
Objective: Present & Past Tenses
Particularly: to BE (But any verb)
I call this game "occupations" (although some of the students call it "preoccupacciónes). The idea is to differenciate between past and present, and later future or "going to..."

I make some cards ( about 2"x5") with the name of one occupation on it:
doctor,nurse,astronaut,kingqueen,actor,president,clown,sailor, get the idea. This represents their job in a previous life. The first student says (predictably) "I am a student. I was a whateveritsaysonhiscard. As we go along we make a list of these occupations for our vocab list. It is not necessary for the teacher to explain every occupation. Usually some of the students know. (Note: I deal with high school Spanish students and many of the words are, with a little thought, recognizable. pronunciation is the thing - I include accent marks) Sound dull. It is. After a few students have read their "I am.., I was...", break into groups of three or four. Now a student says to another "I am a student. Iwas a pilot" The student he was speaking to replies: "You are a student. You were a pilot" This student (No2) then turns to another and says "He/She is a student. He/She was a pilot."The student now being spoken to, then starts with "I am...etc etc." All the students are talking and listening.

Lesson2: The students remember their occupacions from lesson one. Now that is their previous occupation and with the cards again they get new
PRESENT OCCUPATIONS. We add words like "Last time, or before, and now or tonight or today. "Last time I was a worker, BUT today I am a secretary." During this process I move students from one group to another so we are always hearing new occupations (added to our vocab
lists), talking, listening and thinking. I circulate to help with pronunciation.

Step three is to have the students vary things by not always starting with I am, instead starting with he, or we or they or get the drift. Still using the occupation cards we move on ot places. I am a pilot. I go to the airport. I was a priest. I went (used to go) to the church......

The students can also form groups based on their occupations. (I was rather surprised on one occasion when they ended up in groups with
occupations that ended in er, or, ian, and "other"!) ....take it from there.

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