This lesson uses information gaps to create a speaking activity in which students recount three different eyewitness accounts of the outbreak of war in 1914. Students work in groups of three, with each describing the experiences of a different person. The lesson then features study of the past tenses used in these three accounts, and students again compare notes in groups of three to check their answers. 

The texts are based closely on authentic eyewitness accounts of the outbreak of war in 1914 from the Imperial War Museum’s collection of podcasts:
Topic: Europeans at the outbreak of the First World War
Level: B2
Time: 85 minutes
  • To review and consolidate the form, meaning and use of the past narrative tenses (past simple, past continuous and past perfect)
  • To develop students’ knowledge about the outbreak of the First World War in Europe

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Submitted by Nicola Harrison on Sun, 09/14/2014 - 08:06


There is a mistake in Task 3 (choosing the right past tense). No one has Text C to gapfill with correct tenses! Student A has text B, Student B should have text C and Student C should have Text A.

Hi Nicola I've had a look but am not clear what you mean. From what I can see Student A has text A complete and needs to gapfill B & C Student B has text B complete and needs to gapfill A & C Student A has text C complete and needs to gapfill A & B Let me know if I am missing anything. Best wishes Del

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