This is a homework exercise to practice past narrative tenses for intermediate to advanced students (B1-C1) based on the picture above. Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.
Download the handout here:
Composition short story
Write a short story (120-150 words) based on this picture.
- Who are these people?
- Where is the story set? When is it set?
- What are they doing?
- What has happened before this moment?
- What happens next? (think of an exciting ending)
Generally stories are written in the past so use a selection of past tenses:
- Past continuous to describe the scene, “The couple were sat at the bar talking and drinking.”
- Past simple to describe actions in sequence: “The man paid his bill, put on his jacket and left the bar.”
- Past perfect to describe actions that happened before this moment: “The man had been drinking in another bar before”
- Mixture of past tenses to describe different actions: “As the man was putting on his jacket, the phone rang…..”
Open to teachers or students. If you are a teacher send your best student’s story, or if you are a student your story to me at: email@example.com and I’ll post it to my page for all to see!