Having a variety of interesting and fun activities to draw on is an important part of keeping
your lessons fresh and your students engaged in learning, especially when it comes to
teaching grammar points. In this graphic we look at 10 different activities for the past
simple. The aim of these activities is to provide high student talking time using the target
language. They should also encourage the students to produce the language themselves
with varying amounts of creativity.
Matching Pairs’ is a great activity for recognising irregular past simple verb forms. The
activity helps students remember the different forms and encourages them to produce their
own sentences. The ‘Diary’ activity encourages students to use the past simple with regard
to their own experiences, and interviewing each other about what they have written
encourages plenty of interaction between students. ‘Telling Stories’ allows students to let
their imaginations fly while using both the past simple and past continuous tenses. Another
activity that encourages student interaction is ‘Find Someone Who …’. An activity that works
well with adult students is ‘When I Was Young’. This activity encourages them to think and
talk about their own lives using the past simple. ‘Irregular Verb Bingo’ is another good
activity for reinforcing the different past simple forms of irregular verbs. ‘Past Simple
Battleships’ is a great exercise for practicing past simple yes/no questions in a way that
students of all ages find fun. ‘Good Day/Bad Day’ is another good activity for encouraging
students to use their imaginations and to be creative with the language and often results in
some funny stories.
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