Used to - ESL EFL Activities, Games and Worksheets
Blast from the Past
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this captivating speaking activity, students talk about how things were different in the past using ‘used to’ and ‘didn’t use to’. The class is divided into groups of three and each group is given a set of topic cards. The students take it in turns to pick up a topic card and talk about it using ‘used to’ and ‘didn’t use to’. The students must talk about each topic for a minimum of 30 seconds and each time they make a sentence using ‘used to’ or ‘didn’t use to’, they score one point. For example, if the topic was computers, a student might say, "Computers used to have floppy disks. The monitors didn’t use to be slim and flat like they are today, etc…" When a member of the group is talking, the other students time the speaker and award points. The student with the most points at the end of the activity is the winner. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session and the students discuss how each thing was different in the past using the target language.
Did you use to...?
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
In this engaging class activity, students conduct a survey to find out what their classmates used to do when they were younger. The class is divided into pairs and each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students write a question for each category on their worksheet starting with the phrase: Did you use to...? For example, if the category was games, the students might write: Did you use to play hide and seek as a child? When everybody has finished writing their questions, pairs of students conduct their survey to find out about their classmates' childhood. They go round the class, asking each other their questions and noting down the answers. When the students have asked everybody in the class their questions, they tell the class what they found out.
Did you use to.PDF Exclusive
Growing Up - Board Game
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
In this enjoyable board game, students practice the 'past simple' and 'used to' by discussing and answering questions about childhood and teenage memories. This game also provides students with a great opportunity to practice building a conversation about growing up and is ideal for teenagers and adults. The class is divided into small groups and each group is given a game board and materials. The students take turns throwing the dice and moving their counter along the board accordingly. Whenever a student lands on a square with a question in it, someone in the group asks him or her that question, and the student answers using used to and the past simple tense. The group should then explore the topic by asking follow-up questions and giving comments. The first student to reach the finish square wins the game.
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
In this entertaining teaching activity, students talk about their childhood using the phrase 'used to'. Sometimes the students invent information and sometimes they give real information. Their partner asks follow-up questions to find out if their partner is lying or telling the truth. The class is divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given the corresponding part of the worksheet. The students answer each question on their worksheet with real or invented information as indicated. When they have finished, the students pair up with a member from the other group. Student A goes first and tells Student B about each answer in turn, e.g. I used to love playing chess when I was a child. Their partner then asks several follow-up questions and decides whether they are lying or telling the truth.
My Childhood.PDF Exclusive
People used to...
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 40 Minutes
In this intriguing activity, students talk about inventions and what life used to be like before they existed. The class is divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The students work together with the people in their group and write what life used to be like before the invention of each item on their worksheet. They complete one positive and negative sentence using 'used to' for each invention. Students then pair up with someone from the other group. They take it in turns to read their sentences to their partner without saying the underlined invention. Instead, students use the word 'blank' as the missing word in the sentence. Their partner has to guess the invention. Finally, the students get five minutes to choose three inventions that they couldn’t live without, and three that they could happily live without. Then they compare choices and explain why.
People used to.PDF Free
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this fun guessing game, students use situations to create sentences about recent changes in their lives with the phrases: 'I used to', 'I didn't use to' and 'I'm getting used to'. Their partner then has to guess what has happened. The students are told that they are going to be given a set of situations. The situations focus on recent changes in people’s lives. The class is then divided into two groups (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding part of the worksheet. The students work with the people in their group and imagine that the situations have happened to them. They write sentences about what they used to do and didn't use to do, and what they are getting used to according to each situation. When they have finished writing their sentences, they pair up with someone from the other group. The students take it in turns to read out the sentences they have written and their partner has to guess what has happened.
Recent Changes.PDF Free
Then and Now
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 50 Minutes
In this compelling activity, students ask and answer questions about the way things used to be when they were 12 and the way things are now. The students begin by thinking back to when they were 12 years old. They use ‘used to’ to write answers to questions about their past habits, routines and states. When they have done that, the students write answers to the same questions, but this time they use the present simple to talk about present habits, routines and states. When they have completed both sets of answers, the students are divided into pairs. They take it in turns to ask and answer questions about the way things used to be and the way things are now. When they have finished, each student tells the class about how their partner has changed.
Then and Now.PDF Exclusive
Usually, Used to, Get used to - Board Game
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
Here is a fun board game to help students practice asking and answering questions about things they usually do, used to do, or could / couldn’t get used to doing. In pairs, students take it in turns to throw a dice and move a counter along the board. When a student lands on a prompt square, they ask their partner a question using the prompt and the most appropriate question form: Do you usually...? Did you use to...? or Do you think you could get used to...? If the student structures the question correctly, they stay on the square. If not, they go back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish is the winner.
ESL EFL Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes
This is an ideal activity for practicing or reviewing the various forms of used to (e.g. get used to, didn't use to, getting used to, etc). In the activity, students ask and answer questions about the past and present using used to. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students answer questions on their worksheet by writing short answers in a random order in speech bubbles. When they have finished, the students are divided into pairs and they exchange worksheets. Students then take it in turns to choose an answer from one of the speech bubbles and ask their partner questions to find out what the answer refers to, e.g. Did you use to go to the beach all the time? Did you use to go to the beach on holiday? Their partner replies yes or no accordingly. When the student asks the right question, their partner explains their answer as fully as possible, e.g. Yes, I did. I used to live next to a beach when I was younger. I used to play on the beach after school with my friends, etc. After their partner has explained their answer, the student puts a tick next to the bubble and the students swap roles. At the end of the activity, the students report back to the class on the most interesting things they found out about their partner.
Life Changes.PDF Exclusive
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 45 Minutes
In this enjoyable teaching activity, students ask questions and talk about memories and past habits using 'used to'. Students also learn common expressions with 'used to'. The students look at each sentence in bold on their worksheet and write a possible question they could ask their partner using the structure 'Did you use to...?' The students then think about how they could use the sentences in bold to say something true for themselves. The students write a short answer for each sentence. In pairs, students then take it in turns to ask each other the questions they have written. For each sentence, students are allowed to ask their partner three questions. The students begin by asking the question they have written. Then they use the structure of the question to come up with two more questions if need be. If their first question is correct, they receive three points. If their second question is right, they receive two points, and so on. If none of the questions are right, their partner gives the correct answer. The student with the highest score wins.
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 35 Minutes
In this entertaining card game, students describe changes that have happened in their lives using used to, didn’t use to, would and wouldn’t. Their classmates try to guess each change. Each group of four is given a set of cards, which they deal out equally. Each card shows a change that has happened in their lives and the students think of sentences that demonstrate that change. Students then take it in turns to choose one of their cards and make sentences using used to, didn’t use to, would and wouldn’t. The other students listen and try to guess the change. The first student to guess the change wins the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
What's changed.PDF Exclusive