Once elementary students master forming questions in the present simple tense, their communicative ability grows by hundreds of percent. Students then can ask nearly about anything, and all of a sudden they can communicate meaningfully. However, for many teachers the questions are a nightmare because only a few students do really learn to form the questions.
To help you and your students I will share a set of activities I have used and which worked really well in my classes. In this post you can find an infographic, a video drill, a speaking activity, two games and an online quiz.
Questions in present simple tense – infographic
Start the lesson by explaining the grammar. I use the following infographic to explain the way in which questions are formed.
Remind your students that the word order in English is given (SVOMPT) and that they have to follow it. To form a question they need to add the words DO or DOES at the beginning and a question mark at the end.
To form the short answers students have to start with YES or NO, the pronoun representing the subject from the question and DO, DOES, DON’T or DOESN’T. You can tell your students that the word which was at the beginning of the question appears at the end of the answer.
You can see my explanation of the process in the following video:
The following quiz can help your students practise the short answers either at school or at home. The quiz consists of two parts. In the first part, students should match the questions and answers. In the second part, students have to write the short answers. The students will be rewarded with a game after each part of the quiz they pass. The quiz is in HTML5, so it will play on all desktops and mobile devices.
Questions in present simple tense – speaking activity
In the following activity students should work in pairs or in small groups of three or four. Print the worksheet once for each pair or group.
One of the students chooses a picture and the others form questions about the pictures. Their task is to ask YES/NO questions in such a way to find out which picture their partner is thinking about.
Questions in present simple tense – question words
Before you move to questions starting with the question words, it is a must that students know, and are able to produce, the question words.
Start with the following drill. On the first slide students listen and repeat the words. From the second slide on, they have to produce the question words before the native speaker says them. Play the video at least twice.
Now, hand out the following worksheet and ask the students to complete the first exercise with the question words
Questions in present simple tense – WH questions
Now explain that WH questions are formed by adding the WH words at the beginning of the question. You can explain it using the infographic below:
Questions in present simple tense – games
Use the following games to practise the grammar your students learnt.
The first game is called Penalty Shootout. In this game you should choose the correct question and then try to score a goal. Good luck.
As the game is in Flash, it will only play on desktop computers.
The second game is in Flash too, and it will play only on desktop computers. It is called En Garde, and your task is to choose the correct option and then stop the circle as close to the centre of the target as possible. Enjoy.