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How to Introduce and Practice the Verb “To Be” to Beginners

The verb “To Be” is often the first verb students learn in their English syllabus. This verb allows the students to make simple sentences with the vocabulary they’ve already learned.

Here is a step-by-step lesson plan to introduce and practice the verb “To Be” to beginner English learners.


1. Review any adjectives or jobs stu­dents have already learned. E.g. hot, cold, well, teacher, student, tall, fat, etc.

Introduce the New Vocabulary:

2. Introduce any new vo­cabulary you plan to use in this lesson and students haven’t learned them yet such as happy, sad, etc.

3. Use flashcards to drill the vocabulary and worksheets for further vocabulary practice activities.

Introduce the Verb “To Be”:

4. Make sentences such as “I am happy. You are happy. Jenny is happy.

5. En­sure that students understand how the subject and forms of the verb are paired.

6. Make three columns on the board, the first for the subjects, the second for the verb “to be” and the third for the adjectives.

7. Call on students to make sentences choosing a subject, verb, and an adjec­tive from the three columns on the board.

8. Ask questions such as “Is he happy?”, “Are you a student?  They will understand what you are asking without introducing questions with the verb “To Be”.

9. Elicit the positive answers from the students. Have them answer by saying “Yes, he is happy”, “Yes, I am a student” so that they practice saying the target structure.

Practice the Verb “To Be”:

10. Have students match sentences with im­ages or with translations of the sentences to test comprehension.

11. Using worksheets, have students fill in the blanks with “am, is, or are” to complete sen­tences to ensure that they understand which form of the verb agrees with certain subjects.

12. Working in pairs with a worksheet, students match a phrase from the first row (E.g. I, He is, She, I am, You, etc.) with the suitable one from the second row (E.g. am happy, sad, are good, is pretty, a student, etc.)

13. Introduce the ques­tion that goes along with this target structure saying “Is she pretty? Are you good? Are you a student?“. Elicit only yes-answers for this lesson to have students practice saying the verb “To Be”.

14. Focus on how to form the question.

15. Divide the students into pairs and encourage them to practice asking and answering questions using the target structure.

16. Once the students are quite confident with making sentences using the singular you, I, he and she, you should introduce the plural we, they and you.

Finish the Lesson

17. Use a suitable game or song where the students practice the verb “To Be” and enjoy learning as well.

As it is the first verb students study, it is very important to get them to understand that the form of the verb is affected by the subject of the sentence.

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P.S. This post was proofread by Grammarly

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