Past Simple Activities

A work in progress. I will be using this page to collect together tried and tested activities for practising the Past Simple. Irregular Verb Past Tense Forms Tic Tac Toe Draw a tic tac toe grid and write the infinitive of an irregular verb in each square. Teams now try to win the game by […]

10 outdoor activities you can do on a sunny day

Some days it feels just too hot to sit in the classroom. If you have a nice patch of ground nearby, why don’t you take them outside and allow the change of scenery to stimulate their imaginations? Here are ten outdoor activities which need little or no preparation. Scavenger hunt Make a list of items for your […]

Four in a row – a fun way to test and review grammar forms

Four in a row is an activity for groups of three students. Each pair is given a puzzle sheet (see below) comprising of a grid of words, they compete to connect four of the grid-squares vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The third person in the group acts as an invigilator. Student A chooses a grid-square and must […]

Last weekend: past simple questions

This past simple conversation activity helps give students practice of forming ‘did’ questions. Obviously, it’s best to do this on a Monday but you could do it at any time and change the time period focused on. For example, do it on a Friday and focus on events which have happened during the week. First, […]

Find someone who – printable worksheets for adult classes

Find someone who is a great mingling activity which gets students on their feet and forces them to interact one-on-one with their classmates. I often do one of these on the first day with a new class as they can serve as a great ice-breaker activity. First, give each student a copy of the question […]

Poker Face

Poker Face is a true or false type game that can be played with a pack of playing cards (or slips of paper). You can use it to review specific tenses and for question asking practice. Deal each player three to five cards. The first player lays one of their cards face down and makes […]


This ESL classic is often given as a suggested activity for practising the past continuous tense. However, in my experience, students often revert to the past simple in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, it’s still an often hilarious game which encourages inventive thinking while posing and answering questions. Inform students that a terrible crime […]

ESL crosswords and how to make them

Crosswords are really great for introducing a new theme or grammar point, you can give them out as a warmer while you’re waiting for all the class to arrive, or they make a  handy homework or vocabulary review task. Note: not every student will be familiar with crossword puzzles, so make sure to explain it first […]

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe is a quick and fun way to review a number of grammar forms. I often use it to practise irregular forms of the past simple. You need two teams of 1-4 to play this game, one team plays as Xs, the other as Os. Draw a Tic Tac Toe grid on the […]