Where Were You Last Summer?

Stefanie Simmons - author of the lesson   Stefanie I June 06, 2022
General English, Speaking Lessons
A1 Beginner
Past Simple
Grammar, Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
45 minutes
Screenshot of a beginner's English lesson for adults discussing vacations and travel destinations, emphasizing the past forms o

Lesson Overview

Let’s hit the beach! In this lesson, students will discuss vacations and different traveling destinations. This lesson features audio of a person describing the various places they went on vacation. Students will also learn and practice the past forms of the verb “to be” and vocabulary relating to this topic. This lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will learn and practice the past forms of the verb “to be,” focusing on correctly using "was" and "were" to talk about past vacations and experiences. This includes forming affirmative sentences, questions, and negations to accurately describe past states and actions.

  • Listening: They will listen to an audio clip of a person detailing their vacation experiences in various locations, aiming to improve comprehension of past events. This exercise enhances their ability to understand detailed narratives and pick up on specific information about places, activities, and feelings associated with those vacations.

  • Speaking: Students will engage in conversations about their past vacations, using the past simple tense of "to be" to share their own experiences. They will discuss where they went, who they were with, what they did, and how they felt about those experiences, encouraging the exchange of personal stories and preferences related to traveling and vacations.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson introduces vocabulary related to vacations, traveling destinations, and activities, such as "campground," "seaside resort," "travel abroad," and expressions related to weather conditions, accommodations, and personal preferences during vacations.

  • Homework: Homework tasks are designed to reinforce the lesson's focus on the past simple tense of "to be" and vocabulary related to vacations. Students will complete sentences based on their preferences ("We always stay at a five-star hotel/campground"), correct sentences with the proper use of the verb “to be,” match questions with appropriate responses, and fill in blanks with phrases from a given box to describe a vacation scenario.


Listen to the audio to hear about a fun summer vacation. A woman travels to Michigan, Barcelona, Maui, and to the countryside to visit her relatives. Traveling abroad for the first time can be an eye-opening experience that you will never forget!

Audio Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

college [noun]: a place where students, between 18 and 22 years old, are educated to get their first degree
cabin [noun]: a small, simple house made of wood, or a small room to sleep in on a ship
countryside [noun]: land that is not in towns or cities and has farms, fields, forests, etc.
campground [noun]: the area or place used for camping, usually with tents, cooking grills, water, and toilets
cruise [noun]: a tour on a ship in which people vacation and sail to different places
resort [noun]: a place where many people go to spend their vacation
nightlife [noun]: entertainment that happens at night at bars, theaters, restaurants, or clubs
spontaneous [adjective]: happening naturally and suddenly without a plan
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