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Present Simple - ESL/EFL Teaching Activities

Dominoes - Present Simple

ESL/EFL Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

This dominoes game is great for teaching or reviewing the present simple. Students play this game in pairs. The dominoes are divided out equally. One student places a present simple domino in front of them, and the other student has to make a complete present simple sentence or question by placing one of his or her dominoes at either end of the first domino.

Dominoes - Present Simple.PDF


During the Week

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

In this entertaining speaking activity, students make positive and negative present simple sentences about their routine activities during the week. The class is divided into groups of three. Each group is given a set of verb and activity cards, and a chart. They shuffle the verb cards and place them face down in random order on the chart. Then, they divide out of the activity cards equally. Students then take it in turns to turn over any verb card and match the verb with one of the activities on their cards. They must then make a true present simple sentence about what they do or don’t do at that time on that day. If a student makes a correct sentence, they can discard their activity card. If a student cannot match one of their activities with the verb on the chart, they miss a turn. The aim of the activity is to be the first student to get rid of all their cards.

During the Week.PDF


Fun with Verbs

ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes

Here is an excellent multi-purpose worksheet to teach students about verb/noun collocation and subject-verb agreement. Students begin by matching each verb on the worksheet with three nouns. After they have matched the verbs and nouns together, the students practice subject-verb agreement. They write a present simple sentence for each verb using a given pronoun. They also include the three nouns in each sentence. An answer key is provided.

Fun with Verbs.PDF


Just a Normal Day

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

Students work in pairs and ask each other questions about their daily routine with this present simple teaching activity. They write their partner's answers down on a worksheet and when they have finished, both students compare their lifestyles and look for similarities and differences. As an extension, students could write a paragraph about their partner.

Just a Normal Day.PDF


My Animal

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

In this teaching activity, students take on the role of an animal. Students choose one animal they want to be. The students draw a picture of the animal and complete sentences about the animal's habits using the present simple. After that, they pair up and read their sentences to their partner. Students need to be careful which partner they choose, e.g. a tiger and zebra would be a dangerous combination. Finally, students have to find the most dangerous partner and read their sentences again.

My Animal.PDF


Present Simple Draughts

ESL/EFL Speaking and Matching Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

Here is a creative way to teach your students about present simple subject-verb agreement. The class is divided into pairs. Each pair is given a draughts board, a set of pronoun/noun draughts and verb draughts. Students then play a game of draughts using the pronoun/noun and verb counters. A verb  counter may only take a pronoun/noun counter or vice versa when there is grammatical agreement between them. For example, the YOU counter could take the ASK counter, but could not take the WANTS counter. Also, when there is grammatical agreement, the student must try to make a sentence using the two words before the counter is taken. When the students have finished playing, they swap counters and play again.

Present Simple Draughts.PDF


Present Simple Grammar Practice

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

This useful worksheet helps students to practice or review the present simple tense. The students begin by completing 20 sentences with the present simple of the verbs in brackets. The students get to practice both affirmative and negative present simple sentences and questions in the first and third person. After that, they create their own sentences about what they normally do at the weekend and what a family member does. Then, in pairs, they tell each other about their weekends. An answer key is provided.

Present Simple Grammar Practice.PDF  

Simon the Sportsman

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

In this pairwork teaching activity, students practice the present simple tense, adverbs of frequency and sports vocabulary. The class is divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a worksheet. Each worksheet contains missing information about Simon's routine. Students take it in turns to ask and answer present simple questions in order to complete the chart. Once the pair has finished, they complete a matching activity in which they make true sentences about Simon based on the chart. Finally, they create five more sentences of their own about Simon's routine using the present simple tense.

Simon the Sportsman.PDF


Verb Dominoes - have, take, go

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes

This creative speaking activity is perfect for teaching students to make present simple verb and noun collocations. To begin, the class is broken up into pairs. Each student takes six dominoes. The pair then takes it in turns to match the verb and noun combinations. When a student matches a combination, they must make a sentence using the two words. If a student cannot go, they take a domino from the pile. The first student with no cards left is the winner.

Verb Dominoes - have, take, go.PDF


Verbs and Other Words - Board Game

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

This enjoyable board game can be utilized to teach or review the present simple (regular verbs and verb to be + from) as well as prepositions of place. Students play by matching verbs with other words and expressions. The players read the subject pronoun and verb on the square the counter lands on and match it with a word on one of their cards. Then, they read out a complete sentence, adding the correct preposition.

Verbs and Other Words - Board Game.PDF


Who are you?

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

Here is a great worksheet to help teach young learners how to use the present simple tense. Students start off by completing present simple sentences with information about themselves and drawing a picture of what they look like. They must also create two more present simple sentences describing who they are. Then, they complete the same information about their best friend, but this time they have to write whole sentences. Afterwards, they present themselves or their best friend to the class.

Who are you?.PDF


Who wrote it?

ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes

Students use the present simple to ask and answer questions about routine activities in this entertaining activity. The teaching activity also covers adverbs of frequency and time expressions. First, the students complete sentences with information about themselves. After that, they put all the sentences into a box in the middle of the room. The students then take one sentence each and have to find out who wrote it. They go around the class asking present simple questions. When they find the person who wrote the sentence, they write the person’s name on the piece of paper, keep it, and take another sentence from the box. The winner is the student with the most sentences at the end.

Who wrote it?.PDF


Your Neighbourhood

ESL/EFL Lesson - Elementary - 1 Hour

This detailed lesson enables students to talk about the routine activities they do in their neighbourhood. The lesson provides the students with guided questions and answers for them to follow. The students use the vocabulary, expressions and questions they learn to make a present simple conversation in pairs. The students then present their conversations to the class.

Your Neighbourhood.PDF


Expressing Agreement in the Present Simple

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes

The following linked activity teaches students how to express agreement in the present simple tense. Each student is given a question card. The students move around the classroom, asking one another their assigned questions. Each student must find three other students who can express agreement with their topic. Students write their names on the back of the card. The teacher then collects the cards and the students are placed in groups of 3 and 4 according to the one thing they all have in common. Students then try to discover similar things they have in common. After which, they present their findings to the class.

Expressing Agreement in the Present Simple.PDF 

 Students in class

You can also find present simple teaching activities on these pages:

Asking Questions

Adverbs of Frequency

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Present Simple Questions


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