Here is a very simple yet effective idea to practice the use of THERE WAS/THERE WERE.
Skill: writing, speaking
Grammar Topic: There was/There were
Material needed: realia provided by students, notebook and pencil
Collect different classroom objects/personal objects from students and place them on the teacher`s table. Organize the objects on the table in such a way students can clearly see their position in relation to other objects (ex: a pen under a book, cell phones next to a plastic folder, a blue pen between two pencils, etc). Then ask students to open their notebooks and explain that they are going to carefully observe the objects on the table, close their eyes( in this moment the teacher should remove some objects and/or change their positions on the table), open them, try to notice what changed and write sentences using THERE WAS/THERE WASN`T/ THERE WERE/ THERE WEREN`T (ex: there was an eraser next to the cellphones, there were some books in front of the plastic folder, etc). Before checking their ideas, have students pair up/group up and compare their sentences.
- You can divide the students into two groups and have them remove/re-organize the objects.
- You can ask them just to say what changed instead of writing and make it a more dynamic activity.
- Depending on situation, you can turn off the lights instead of having them close their eyes.
- Students can prepare Yes/No questions and make it a more complex activity
Source: Vinicius Lemos
Picture credits: Flickr/@banoootah_qtr