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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


Information Exchange

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

You can use this speaking task to teach your students how to ask and answer questions in the third-person. Students exchange information about four different people in order to complete a chart. The students are split into pairs and each student is given one part of the worksheet. The pair takes it in turns to ask and answer present simple questions using the third-person singular to complete their chart.

Information Exchange.PDF


Information Gathering

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes

This speaking exercise will teach students how they can find out information about their classmates by asking and answering present simple questions about routine activities. Each student is given a present simple question to ask. Students go round the class asking and answering their questions. When they have spoken to everybody, students tell the class about some of the information they have found out.

Information Gathering.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

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 wrote it?

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

Students use the present simple to ask and answer questions about routine activities with 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


Question Time

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

For this teaching activity, the class is divided into groups of 4. Each group should have a stopwatch and a piece of paper for keeping score. The groups are handed a set of topic cards. The topic cards are placed face down in a pile. The group members take it in turns to play by picking up the top card and asking as many present simple questions as they can in one minute. They win a point for each present simple question they ask relating to the topic. Each question must be answered by someone in the group, before they can ask another question. The student who achieves the highest number of points by the end of the game wins.

Question Time.PDF

 Students in class

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

Asking Questions

Adverbs of Frequency

Free time


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Present Simple Questions




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