Past Tense – Information Questions

Famous Firsts

Target Structure: Information questions in the past

Lesson Topic: Famous Firsts

Duration: 60 – 90 minutes

Your students will talk about famous firsts in history as they learn to ask questions in the past tense using information questions like who, what, when, where, and why. This lesson starts with a review of the past tense, then looks at famous explorers and historical figures to gradually introduce past tense information questions. Students will practice asking questions as they interview a partner in this lesson’s speaking production activity.


Print the teacher copy before class to cut out the cards for the final activity.

This lesson is in the following categories: Grammar Classes, Past Tense

Target Structure

Question word review

  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where
  • why
  • how
  • how long

Past tense review

  • regular verbs
  • irregular verbs

Question words in past questions

  • Where did the Wright brothers fly the first plane?
  • What did Magellan do in 1521?

‘Who’ questions for subjects and objects

  • Who went to the moon? – subject
  • Who did he go to the moon with? – object


Vocabulary from text


  • Warm Up
  • First in Flight (reading and gap fill)
  • Comprehension
  • The First Man on the Moon (grammar practice)
  • Famous Explorers (grammar practice)
  • Historical Figures (speaking)