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Bahiya Jul 16th, 2006 08:26 am

Simple Past - Games

I am teaching a class with students in their late forties who are absolute beginners and have severe problems understanding the simple past - are there any games that might be of help?


mesmark Jul 17th, 2006 11:40 pm

Re: Simple Past - Games
There are a bunch of possible games but where are the problems:
- formulation of -ed enings ?
- irregular verbs ?
- making questions with 'did' ?
- the past tense of 'be' ?
- the negative with 'didn't' ?

yasemin Feb 26th, 2007 07:58 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
the past tense of be

smy2brazil Feb 27th, 2007 09:16 am

Re: Simple Past - Games

just two words...

not hard

HUE Mar 6th, 2007 03:40 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
I used this idea with my university students. They generally have a short attention span, and aren't the most studious of sorts. Anyway...

The lesson focused on the past tense, and I didn't want to give them a boring list to memorize. Yet I wanted to begin with a worksheet as a reference tool, practice through it, and then build on it.

I first made a crossword puzzle through Discovery Channel's Puzzlemaer (, using 15 words in the past tense. These were words that would resonate with the students, and which we would use later in the lesson.

Next I dictated the fifteen words in the present tense. Students had to write the words, then compare spelling with a partner. They then searched for the words, which they had to conjugate. Again, answers were checked with a partner.

Lastly, after going through pronunciation drills and substitution drills, students interviewed 3 people in the class about their last weekend. Most of the words were used, but students were free to add information according to their ability level.

I liked how I was able to get several skills into one long activity, as well as keep hold of most everyone's attention for the full lesson.

Hope this idea proves useful!

Chris Cotter

quoi_de_neuf? Apr 24th, 2007 11:46 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
Chris - great idea! Thanks for sharing that tip... The crossword maker on that website is great, too - certainly reduces lesson prep time which is always a good thing!

kisito Sep 2nd, 2009 04:27 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
Check out this page for interactive games for past tenses.
You can also board games to help you practice. Here are past tense board games.
This website is great because there are templates which you can easily edit to create your own exercises to teach almost any kind of grammar point. Enjoy! It's 100% FREE

yudisita2 Sep 16th, 2010 02:49 pm

Re: Simple Past - Games
great page ,,thanks...

sidewalker Feb 18th, 2013 02:16 pm

Re: Simple Past - Games
The crossword idea is really great. I also like to play Tic Tac Toe to test their memories and get them to use the verb form in a sentence.

nicolone Oct 11th, 2013 05:22 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
Get some pictures from movies/cartoons/comics etc (depending on what the students will like/understand etc in the middle of something happening. Get the students to describe what is happening in the present tense, and then say what has happened in the past tense

I use movies and for the first few I will use ones that they pretty much definitely will have seen and remember to get them used to the idea (first one is Jack and Rose standing on the Titanic and students have to say things like 'The boat left England. Rose was unhappy etc) and then move onto more bizarre and offbeat ones to have a bit of fun with

davidbowesuk Jan 19th, 2014 10:57 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
For low levels, use a lot of visuals such as pictures and keep the lesson focused so you don't overwhelm them. :)

MayaWins Jan 28th, 2014 02:26 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
Movies, visual aids and having bilingual dictionaries with pictures will help. Make them create their own bilingual dictionaries -it will help them feel more ownership and understand quicker.

epsilon1983 Aug 22nd, 2014 09:58 am

Re: Simple Past - Games
Tic Tac Toe, Bingo, Past simple tennis. Check out this page for more ideas: English Commander
You can customize the games to use the past simple

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