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My Hometown


Tech Product/Equipment:
Computer and projector, Mobile devices for students

Activity Description

Small Town
Source: Pixabay by Scott (License: CC0/Public Domain)

Students will make oral presentations with visual aides to talk about their hometowns. Students practice present and past passive verb forms by talking about their hometowns or birthplaces (It is called..., It is known for..., etc.). For information that is unknown (such as what is produced there), students can use Web sites such as Wikipedia to find the information.


  1. Teach present and past passive verb forms and allow students plenty of written and spoken practice.
  2. Download the My Hometown Presentation Prompt file (Example Word Document, below), modify it as desired, print, and photocopy for your class.
  3. Choose which Web sites you will have students use (Wikipedia or Simple English Wikipedia ), depending on their level of English, and make sure that the sites are not blocked at your school.
  4. Make a sample visual aide / slideshow about your own hometown or birthplace to show students as an example or use the Example Document-Sample Hometown PowerPoint Presentation, above. Decide which presentation software (PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Docs presentation) and make sure that you are comfortable enough with the program to show students how to use it and that it is installed on the computers students will use.
  5. Alternatively, you could have students print out images from the Internet and create poster presentations.

Teacher Tips

If you decide to have students use Microsoft PowerPoint, it may be helpful for students who are not familiar with the program to use a template you create and have available to them for download or ready on the desktops of the computers students will use. That way, students need only to type in key information and insert images.

More Ways

Students can find pictures and maps of their hometowns on Wikipedia and attribute them to the site. Google Images may be used to find other pictures for the visual aide for this presentation as long as these presentations will not be posted on the Web. Otherwise, you will need to be careful of copyright rules and possibly choose only Creative Commons licensed pictures, which are acceptable for use.

Program Areas

  • ESL: English as a Second Language


  • Advanced
  • Intermediate High

Lesson Plan


Show a short video or use a map and Google images to show your own hometown and explain what makes it special.


Tell students:

In this lesson, you're going to discuss and share about the places you call home. Each of us has a unique story to tell about our hometowns, and I'm excited to hear about all the different cultures, traditions, and landmarks that make them special. 


Create a slideshow or handout with sentences such as the following. Explain active voice (subject does the action of the verb):

1.     During the annual festival, people lined the streets of my hometown with colorful banners.

2.     Several years ago, someone converted the old town hall into a museum.

3.     The local council regularly maintains the park in my hometown.

4.    People built the historic church in the center of town in the 18th century.

5.    Last month, they opened the new library, which replaced the old one.

6.    A large crowd cheered on the local football team at the stadium.

7.     During the holiday season, people often decorate the houses in my hometown with festive lights.

8.    Due to construction work, they closed the main road leading out of town for several hours.

9.     Last year, a storm damaged the famous landmark, but someone has since repaired it.

10.  Fishing and kayaking enthusiasts consider the river that runs through my hometown a popular spot.

Elicit from students what the subjects, verbs, and objects are in each sentence. Ask students if the verbs are present or past. Have students take notes or label on a handout.

Then demonstrate and explain how these sentences can be changed to present and past passive. Have students take notes. Do the first few sentences together as a class and then let students try on their own for the remaining sentences and compare the results with a classmate.

·         For present passive, the object becomes the subject followed by the present tense of “to be” (am, is, are) and a past participle.

·         For past passive, the object becomes the subject followed by the past tense of “to be” (was, were) and a past participle.

·         Explain that this is called passive voice because the subject does not do the action of the verb.

·         Explain why in some of these sentences, the agent (e.g., “people” in sentence 1 and “they” in sentence 8) can be removed from the sentence, but why, as in sentence 3, the agent is kept and the word “by” is used.



1.     The streets of my hometown were lined with colorful banners during the annual festival.

2.     The old town hall was converted into a museum several years ago.

3.     The park in my hometown is regularly maintained by the local council.

4.    The historic church in the center of town was built in the 18th century.

5.    The new library was opened last month, replacing the old one.

6.    The local football team was cheered on by a large crowd at the stadium.

7.     The houses in my hometown are often decorated with festive lights during the holiday season.

8.    The main road leading out of town was closed for several hours due to construction work.

9.     The famous landmark was damaged during a storm last year, but it has since been repaired.

10.  The river that runs through my hometown is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking.


Engagement Enhancement

Have students engage in conversation about their hometowns in small groups with the following conversation questions:

  • Where are you from? 
  • Do you like your hometown? Why or why not? 
  • What is the population of your hometown? 
  • Do you miss your home country? 
  • What do you miss the most?
  • Does anyone famous come from your hometown? 
  • What is the geography of your hometown? (beach, mountains, etc.)   
  • What are the main attractions in your hometown? 
  • Does your hometown have any festivals? What happens at that festival? 
  • How long does it take to get from your hometown to here? 
  • Is your hometown famous for anything? 
  • What are some things in your hometown that are part of history? 
  • What does your hometown produce? What does it grow? 
  • What is the best season in your hometown? 
  • What is the best thing about your hometown? 
  • What is the worst thing about your hometown? 
  • What's there to do in your hometown? 
  • When is the best time to come to your hometown? 
  • What is the weather like there?
  • What are the main economical resources in your hometown? 
  • Would you like to be in your hometown now? Why or why not?

Debrief by asking volunteers some of the questions. Write their answers and as a class, transform the responses to passive voice, as possible.

Introduce the project prompt and allow students time to write the answers to the questions, giving feedback on content and accuracy. Demonstrate how to search online to find answers to questions they may not know. Then have students select just the most interesting features of their hometowns to talk about in their presentations. 

Hometown Presentation

For this presentation, you will create a PowerPoint or Google Slides slideshow to tell classmates about a geographical area –the place you were born/grew up - your hometown/state, country (if it is small), or some other place you choose (such a place you have lived, visited, or would like to travel to).  Your slideshow should have an introduction, a minimum of six slides, and a conclusion.

You may record your voice so that your project can be exported as a video. How to narrate slides in PowerPoint and export them as a video.

Below are some possible questions to answer and use in your presentation.  Choose six (minimum) to 10 (maximum) responses to include in your presentation.   Talk about only the most interesting facts and use the present and past passive in the majority of your sentences.

  1. What is this place named?
  2. Where is it located?
  3. What geographical features (rivers, mountains, canyons, forests, etc.) can be seen?
  4. Who was this place originally inhabited by?  Who was it discovered/settled/colonized by?
  5. What are the people living here called?
  6. What languages are spoken?
  7. What crops are grown here?
  8. What animals are raised?
  9. What natural resources are found or mined here?
  10. What wildlife can be seen?
  11. What famous sites are frequently visited?
  12. What special, regional dishes are prepared?
  13. What art, handicrafts, or special music are created here?
  14. What traditional clothing is worn?
  15. What is the area best known for?

In your presentation, include:

  • An introduction (tell your name and your topic)
  • A map
  • Slides with appropriate images and bullet points that help the audience understand
  • Present and past passive verbs
  • A conclusion
  • Correct spelling and grammar on the slides
  • Good presentation skills:  volume, pacing, pronunciation

When students are ready to make their slideshows, distribute a template or demonstrate, as needed, entering text, inserting images, creating new slides and selecting different layouts, etc.

Enhancement Extension

Students deliver their oral presentations to the class. Use a student self-assessment checklist/reflection or a rubric to give students feedback.


Students will be able to speak fluently about where they are from using geographical terminology. They will be able to make a brief oral presentation about a familiar topic using presentation software or apps.



  • Reading Foundational Skills
    • RF.4 - Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. (Fluency)
  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    • CCR Anchor 7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • Writing
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    • CCR Anchor 5 - Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
    • CCR Anchor 7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • Speaking and Listening
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    • CCR Anchor 5 - Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
  • Language
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.


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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.