Skip navigation

Now and Then

Life with no Internet

The Internet has not always existed. It was first used at the end of the sixties. Can you imagine what life was like before the great invention of the Internet? Within this part of the project, you will be able to compare certain aspects of life before and after the Internet.

At the end of this section, you will have:

  • revised vocabulary based on daily routines and places.
  • learnt about the names of some online apps and services.
  • revised the use and form of present and past simple verbs.
  • written down an article dealing with people's daily life before and after the Internet .

In order to start, please enter the site SEO for breakfast and watch the image about Life before the Internet. Read carefully all the information. 

With a partner, comment on the different internet services and agree with each other on what people use them for. Use the name of the Internet services below. For example, People buy all types of things on eBay.

Tip: use Google to search for information on the Internet services that you do not know.

  • eBay
  • YouTube
  • Doodle
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Amazon

And what about the times before the Internet existed? Can you explain how and where people bought things or spent their free time? Have a look at the same image and, with your partner, write down sentences referring to past actions. For example, People used to buy all sort of things at the shopping centre. Click on the englishexercises webpage and revise names of places in a city.

Tip: practise the Past Simple tense by doing the activities at the agenda web site and revise the List of irregular verbs at the learnenglish.britishcouncil site.

Individual work

Before taking the next step, we recommend that you reinforce the use and form of the Present simple and Past Simple with an interactive activity at the Tolearnenglish site.

Sign in at canva.com and draw a chart with two columns entitled Before the Internet and Nowadays. Write down sentences in Present Simple and Past Simple based on the information that your partner and you have commented previously on the picture. 

You can have some more ideas for your chart if you read the comic stripes included in the Sodahead site.

Publish your chart on your Weebly site and share it on Pinterest with your classmates so that they help you complete your chart. Remember that you must try to implement your classmates' charts.

Work hard on the vocabulary and grammar structures presented in this section as they will be very useful for you when performing your next mission and the project final challenge.

The digital divide

Being connected to the Net makes possible that your friends from far away and you can communicate in real time. You can also search information by just googling it. These are just two examples of Internet uses that you have probably included in your chart above. But life was not always that way.

Take the elderly people for example. They did not play online games or chat with friends on Twitter. In that sense, their life when they were younger was very different from your life nowadays, isn't it?

You are about to start a mission consisting of writing a composition about the daily life of two people, a teenager and an elderly person who was born much earlier than the Internet came into existence.

Please, follow the guidelines below:

  • Your teacher will put you in groups of three students.
  • You will prepare a set of questions for both the teen and the old person.
  • These questions must be based on their daily routine. Remember that you need to extract information from the old person's life before the Internet, so you are required to use questions in the Past Simple tense.
  • The set of questions that is addressed to the teenager must be based on their current lifestyle. In this case, you must prepare questions in the Present Simple.
  • Create two boards on Pinterest, one entitled Life before the Internet and the other one, Life after the Internet.
  • Share the questions that you have prepared with other groups so that they can include the answers in the board playing the role of both, the teenager or the old person. Likewise, participate by answering other group's questions.

The information about the two fictional characters that your classmates and you have brainstormed and added to the boards will be the basis on which you will write a text about what life was like before and after the Internet.

We recommend that you revise this list of connectors as they will help you sound more fluent in English and will provide your text with a logical and clear structure. In order to reinforce what you know about transition words for expressing contrast, click on the video Write Well in English  and practise with some of them just before you start writing.  

You can read the criteria that your teacher will consider to evaluate your text at the 'Rubric for assessing informative/explanatory texts'

When you get your text ready, publish it on a page of your Weebly site that you will entitle  'My writing guide'.

Your learning diary

Did you manage to ask and answer questions in Present Simple and Past Simple? Are you proud of your writing task? Open again your Learning Diary on your site and write down your reflections on your work progress.

Learning diary

Peter O'SheaWriting tools (CC BY)

Create a new post on your blog with the title  'Now and Then' and answer the following questions:

  • What are the most difficult aspects?
  • What tool was the most difficult for you to work with?
  • What do you think is the most important aspect you have learned?
  • Are there any aspects you didn't understand?

Do not forget it would be great if you shared these feelings and thoughts with your classmates. You will have 10 or 15 minutes to complete this part.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License 4.0