Monday, July 7, 2014


You're Getting Old! (Verb Tenses)

Have you ever noticed that when you teach something, you see examples of the grammar all over! This summer I taught past and present perfect in a TOEFL prep class and the website: started getting passed around my Facebook pages.

The site is super easy to use. Simply go to the link and plug in a birthday, then  specify if you are doing this for you or for someone else.

In this case I am putting in what many people believe to be Harry Potter's birthday: July 31st, 1980. After I put in the birthday and name I press go and voila! Tons of great sentences:

Check out the AMAZING variety of sentences here. We have simple present sentences, present perfect, past perfect and past passive. We have irregular verbs (i.e. is, take, beat). If your students have been taught to identify different sentences, see if they can do so now. If you are the type of teacher who prefer that students understand meaning rather than grammar make sure they notice the different way.

The website goes on. It gives you plenty of examples of the perfect tenses as well as passive (Ronald Reagan was elected President. ET was released.)

I suggest you go through the site a few times with different birthdays: celebrities, student volunteers, authors, create birthdays for characters in books you read etc.
Are you this old?

After students get the idea have them create their own "website." I am really into using things like this for literature, so I would have them do it with a character from a story we have read. If you don't read stories in class have them make it for themselves. (Note: the website will not work for people born before 1900, so you'd have to use people from the 1900s on).

The website gives examples, but if your students need prompts:
I hope you ans your students find this website as fun to play with as I do!


  1. Hi Carissa,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.


    1. Thanks Ann! It is an honor as always to be considered :)


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