What? Where? When?
Purpose: To help lower level learners review and practice the use of the question words: what, where, when. Initially, teach question words one at a time and do lots of practice before combining them.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Materials: pictures from text, calendar, magazine or the Internet of a person doing daily activities, or digital photos of tutor doing various activities; clock with movable hands; sets of markers; 3 large cards with one question word on each card: What? Where? When?
Prep: Think of three simple sentences, such as: I eat breakfast in the kitchen at 7:00 am; I walk to work at 8:00 am; I take the bus to school at 6:30 pm. Find a visual or take a photo that illustrates each of the three activities; if an actual clock isn’t available, draw a clock showing the time on a piece of paper. Do this for each of the 3-4 sentences. Miming and props could take the place of some pictures.
- Begin by doing oral work. Tell the students about your day and illustrate it with the pictures. Then ask them questions. What do I do at 8:00? Show the picture of eating breakfast or mime the action and ask for a short answer, e.g. eat breakfast. Where do I eat breakfast? Show a picture of a kitchen. The desired answer is “at home” or “in the kitchen”. When do I eat breakfast? Show the clock. Students can simply say the time.
- Repeat this process with each of the 3-4 sentences.
- Repeat with all sentences if students need more practice.
- Write the sentences on the board and read them together. Ask students to change the information to fit their lives. Each person tells the class about him or herself.
- Have students write the sentences and then share them with a partner. Have them underline the information that says “what” with a red pen, the part that says “where” with a blue pen, and the part that says “when” with a green pen.
- Working in partners, ask students to think of words that start with “w”, including the question words. The pair with the longest list wins!
- Create a dialog or chant to practice the questions. What do you study?
I study English.
Where do you study?
At the school.
When do you study?
- Show a picture of a fictional new student who asks questions about the school and then use visuals to prompt the answers. Or have a fictional new employee ask questions about his/her new job using wh-questions.