Past Simple Affirmative Negative Games, ESL Activities and Worksheets

Excuses Excuses Board Game

ESL Past Simple Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

Here is an amusing past simple board game to help students practice past simple affirmative sentences as well as regular and irregular verbs. In the activity, students play a past simple board game where they make excuses for arriving to class late. Give each group of four a copy of the game board and a set of excuse cards. When a student lands on a square marked 'Sorry I’m late', the student picks up an excuse card and changes the sentence in to its past simple form to make an excuse for being late, e.g. 'Sorry I’m late. I missed the bus'. If the student forms the sentence correctly, they stay on the square. If not, the student must go back to their previous square. The first student to arrive at class wins the game.
Excuses Excuses Board Game Preview
 

In the Past

ESL Past Simple Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free past simple game to help students practice forming past simple affirmative sentences. Give each group of four a set of time expression cards and a set of verb cards. Students place the time expression cards face down in a pile and deal out the verb cards equally. Players then take it in turns to turn over a time expression card from the pile and make a true past simple affirmative sentence using one of the verbs on their cards and the time expression. If the player constructs a believable past simple sentence, which is agreed on by the other students to be true, the player may discard the verb card. If the other students think the sentence can’t be true, or if the sentence is grammatically incorrect, they challenge the player, and he or she has to keep the verb card. The aim of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all their verb cards. The game is quite easy at first because there is a choice of verbs, but it becomes more challenging to make a meaningful sentence as the game progresses.
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Mark the Jogger

ESL Past Simple Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this printable past simple tense worksheet, students read a text about 'Mark the Jogger' and complete past simple affirmative and negative sentences about the text. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students read a text about Mark's typical working day. The students then pretend that yesterday was a typical day for Mark and complete past simple affirmative and negative sentences about what he did and didn't do. They do this by changing the verbs in the text into their past simple form and using them in the sentences. When the students have finished, check the answers with the class. Students then write a short paragraph about what they did yesterday in the past simple. Finally, students read their paragraphs to the class.
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Interactive Version - This past simple interactive worksheet contains a variety of exercises to help students learn and practice past simple affirmative and negative sentences.

 

My Last Summer Holiday

ESL Past Simple Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple exercises PDF, students practice common regular and irregular verbs in their affirmative and negative forms by reading and writing about past holidays. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading a story about someone's last holiday and underlining all the past simple verbs in the text. Students then use the verbs from the story to complete a table of present simple and past simple verbs. Students also identify the irregular verbs from the table and put a tick next to them. Next, students answer comprehension questions in sentence form about the story. Students then move on to complete sentences with the negative form of the verbs in brackets. After that, students rewrite present simple sentences in the past simple. In the last exercise, students write about their last holiday using the past simple. When the students have finished, have them read their texts to the class and provide feedback.
My Last Summer Holiday Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises where they read and write about past holidays in order to practice affirmative and negative sentences in the past simple tense.

 

Past Simple

ESL Past Simple Affirmative and Negative Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

This engaging past simple exercises PDF helps students to learn and practice regular and irregular verbs in past simple affirmative and negative sentences. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching regular and irregular verbs to pictures and writing the verbs under the pictures in the past simple form. Next, students decide whether verbs are regular or irregular and write the past simple form of each verb under the appropriate heading. Students then move on to complete affirmative and negative sentences with the past simple form of the verbs in brackets. Next, students do a gap-fill exercise to practice the verbs where they complete a text in the past simple. Finally, students rewrite some past simple sentences from the text in their negative form.
Past Simple Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple interactive PDF worksheet, students complete a range of exercises to learn and practice past simple affirmative and negative sentences, and past tense regular and irregular verbs.

 

Present Simple to Past Simple Board Game

ESL Present Simple vs. Past Simple Board Game - Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

This fun past simple board game helps to teach students how to make past simple affirmative sentences containing time expressions. The game also helps students practice changing regular and irregular verbs into their past simple form. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they make a past simple affirmative sentence with the time expression and words in the square. If a student forms the sentence correctly, they stay on the square. If a student makes a grammar mistake, they must go back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
Present Simple to Past Simple Board Game Preview
 

Restart

ESL Past Simple Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this free past simple speaking activity, students play a game where they talk about various routine actions and activities in the past. In the activity, students play a card game where they use past simple affirmative sentences and picture cards to talk about what they did yesterday. Give each group of four a set of picture cards, which they shuffle and deal out evenly. One student goes first and lays down a picture card. The student then makes a past simple affirmative sentence about the action shown on the card, e.g. Yesterday, I went cycling. The next student must now lay down either another ‘I went...’ card (e.g. Yesterday, I went shopping.) or a ‘Restart’ card which enables the student to change the verb into something else, e.g. Yesterday, I did my homework. This process continues until one of the students has laid down all their cards. That student wins the game. Students can play several rounds to practice talking about all the actions in the past simple.
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Who did the same?

ESL Past Simple Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

In this rewarding past simple activity, students complete affirmative sentences with true information about what they did in the past. The students then try to find someone who did the same as them. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by completing past simple affirmative sentences with true information about what they did in the past. Students also write one more true past simple sentence at the end. Next, students stand up and move around the class, trying to find someone who did the same as them, e.g. 'A: I woke up at 7 o'clock this morning. What about you?' 'B: I woke up at 7 o'clock too.' If both students' answers are the same, the two students write each other's name in the 'Name' column next to the sentence. However, if their answers are different, neither student writes anything. When everyone has finished, students tell the class what they found out.
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Words to Sentences

ESL Past Simple Board Game - Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this engaging past simple board game, students collect words in order to make as many past simple affirmative sentences as they can. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. Also, give each player a piece of paper for writing and a different coloured pen. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter as many squares as the number shown on the dice. Players can move horizontally or vertically but not diagonally. The player then writes down the word they land on and colours in the square with their coloured pen. The player now owns the word in the square and no one else can write it down. However, other players are allowed to pass through the square during the game to get to other words. The game continues until all the words have been coloured in. Afterwards, the players use the words they wrote down to make as many past simple affirmative sentences as they can. Each word can only be used once. The players then read out their sentences, paying close attention to the -ed sound of the past simple regular verbs. The other players listen and confirm each sentence is grammatically correct and that the -ed pronunciation is appropriate. Players score one point for each grammatically correct sentence and one point for each suitable -ed pronunciation. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Words to Sentences Board Game Preview
 

Gone in 30 Seconds

ESL Past Simple Board Game - Reading and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This free past simple board game helps students to utilize their knowledge of the past simple to talk about a variety of everyday topics. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they talk about the topic on the square in the past simple tense for 30 seconds without stopping. If a student can’t think of anything to say, makes a grammar mistake, or stops talking before the 30 seconds are up, they have to move back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
Gone in 30 Seconds Board Game Preview
 

Holiday Romance

ESL Past Simple Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun past simple activity, students create a story about a holiday romance by inventing answers to questions and writing them down. The grammar focus is on past simple affirmative sentences as well as past simple regular and irregular verbs. Students sit in a circle in groups of five or six. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students answer the first question on their worksheet by inventing details and writing the answer down in the form of a past simple sentence. After that, the students fold the paper and pass it to the person on their right who answers the next question. This continues until all the questions have been completed. When everyone has finished writing, students take it in turns to read their stories to the group and the group chooses the best one. The groups then read their chosen story to the class and the class votes for the best story.
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How was your weekend?

ESL Past Simple Lesson - Reading, Writing, Ordering and Matching Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 50 minutes

This engaging printable past simple lesson helps to teach students how to talk about what they did at the weekend. The lesson also introduces students to small talk techniques, such as expressing interest and keeping a conversation going. Students begin by putting words into the correct order to form past simple questions about weekend activities. Students then match the correct reply to each question. After that, the students focus on how to express interest in a conversation. The students read brief dialogues and choose the most suitable answer that indicates interest in the conversation. Then, the students complete a dialogue that shows them how to keep a conversation going. Finally, the students break into pairs and create their own past simple conversation about what they did at the weekend. Afterwards, students present their conversations to the class.
How was your weekend? Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple interactive lesson, students do exercises where they learn how to talk about what they did at the weekend using the past simple.

 

Past Simple Affirmative and Negative

ESL Past Simple Affirmative and Negative Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This holiday-themed worksheet helps students practice past simple affirmative and negative statements as well as regular and irregular past simple verbs. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin with a gap-fill exercise where they complete a text about someone's holiday using regular and irregular verbs from a box in their past simple form. Students then complete sentences with verbs from a box in their past simple affirmative or negative form as appropriate. After that, students answer eight past simple questions about their last holiday, writing their answers in sentence form. Students then write a paragraph of their own about their best ever holiday using past simple affirmative and negative sentences. Afterwards, divide the students into pairs. Students take it in turns to read their paragraph to their partner. The two students then discuss who had the best holiday and why.
Past Simple Affirmative and Negative Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - This interactive past simple exercises PDF uses the topic of holidays to help students practice affirmative and negative sentences in the past simple.

 

Past Simple Class Story

ESL Past Simple Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple speaking game, students work together to make a story using past simple affirmative and negative sentences. Divide the students into four teams. Take three word cards and write them on the board. One student from the first team starts the story. The student must use the past simple and keep talking until one or more of the words on the board have been used. For every word used from the board, the students scores one point for their team, so in any one turn a team can gain between one and three points. When the student has completed their turn, erase the words and replace them with new ones. A member from the next team then plays and continues the story. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
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Past Simple Review

ESL Past Simple Review Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this grammar review worksheet, students revise regular and irregular past simple verbs as well as affirmative and negative past simple sentences, and Wh questions. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by categorizing verbs as regular or irregular. The students then write the past simple form of the verbs. Next, students use the past simple verbs from Exercise A to complete affirmative sentences. Students then rewrite sentences in their past simple negative form. In the last exercise, students write past simple Wh questions that correspond to underlined information in responses.
Past Simple Review Preview

Interactive Version - In this interactive past simple exercises PDF, students review regular and irregular past simple verbs along with affirmative and negative sentences and Wh questions in the past simple.

 

The Lion and the Mouse

ESL Past Simple Affirmative and Negative Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

This free past simple worksheet helps students to practice affirmative and negative sentences as well as a variety of regular and irregular past tense verbs. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin with a word search exercise where they find and circle the past tense form of verbs, relating to a story they are going to read. Next, students read the story in three parts and fill in gaps with suitable verbs from boxes in the past simple. After that, students read another version of the story that contains mistakes. The students then write past simple affirmative and negative sentences about the details that are incorrect. Finally, there is a class feedback session where students think of a moral for the story.
The Lion and the Mouse Preview
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Interactive Version - In this free past simple affirmative and negative interactive worksheet, students complete a variety of exercises to practice past simple affirmative and negative sentences together with regular and irregular past tense verbs.

 

True Lies

ESL Past Simple Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is an amusing past simple game that helps students practice past simple affirmative and negative statements, questions and regular/irregular verb forms. In the activity, students take it in turns to make true or false statements about things they did or didn’t do in the past. Give each group of four a set of time expression cards and a set of verb cards. Students take it in turns to pick up a time expression card and a verb card. The student then makes an affirmative or negative past simple statement using the words on the cards. The other students in the group ask past simple questions to help them decide whether the student is telling the truth or not. After asking a few questions, the other students say if they think the student is telling the truth or lying. The student then reveals the answer. Students who guessed correctly score a point. Then, the next student picks up two cards and so on. This continues until all the cards have been used. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Oh, Really?

ESL Past Simple Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 25 minutes

In this past simple game, students try to make believable past simple sentences with a variety of time expressions. Give each group of three or four a set of picture cards and time expression cards. The students shuffle the time expression cards and deal them out evenly. The picture cards are shuffled and placed face down in a pile on the desk. One student goes first by picking up the top picture card from the pile. The student asks the student on their right a 'When did you last...?' question based on the picture, e.g. 'When did you last go shopping?' The other student looks at their time expression cards and tries to make a believable past simple sentence using one of the time expressions, e.g. 'I went shopping two days ago'. The group members then decide if the answer is acceptable or not. If the answer is believable, the student discards their time expression card. If the answer is unlikely, e.g. 'I went shopping last summer', the group members challenge the student. The student then chooses to either tell the truth and keep the time expression card or try to convince the group that the answer is true. The final decision lies with the group. It's then the next student's turn to pick up a picture card and so on. The first student to get rid of all their time expression cards wins the game. Afterwards, the students reshuffle the cards and play again.
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One Day...

ESL Past Simple Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

This creative past simple speaking activity gives students practice at using past simple affirmative and negative sentences to tell stories. This activity is similar to a chain game. Give each group of four or five a set of introductory phrase cards. The students shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile on the desk. One student begins by picking up a card from the pile. The student reads the introductory phrase on the card and completes it with their own idea to start the story. Then, in turn, each member of the group continues adding to the story by saying a sentence in the past simple tense. The story is about the first student’s introductory sentence so all of the following sentences must be based on his or her plot. When the story hits a dead end, the next student starts over with a new introductory phrase card and so on. This continues until all the cards have been used.
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Past Simple Sentence Building Race

ESL Past Simple Activity - Reading, Matching and Writing - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this past simple activity, students race to make past simple affirmative and negative complex sentences. Give each pair of students a set of cards. Each card contains a clause. Students race to make ten past simple complex sentences by joining three cards together. Students join the second clause to the first clause using the conjunction ‘and’. Students add the third clause using ‘but’. The third clause is negative. Students must write ‘and’ and ‘but’ in the spaces provided and lay the cards out on the table in the correct order. The first pair of students to complete all the sentences correctly wins.
Past Simple Sentence Building Race Preview
 

MythBusters

ESL Past Simple Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

Here is a free past simple activity for intermediate students to do in class. In the activity, students complete statements with past simple regular and irregular verbs. The students then guess which statements are historical facts and which are myths. Divide the students into three groups (A, B, and C) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Working with the people in their group, students complete ten statements with regular and irregular verbs in their past simple form. When the students have finished, check each group's answers. Next, rearrange the students into teams of three, comprising of a Student A, B and C. Tell the teams that each student’s worksheet contains six historical facts and four myths. The students' task is to read the statements together, discuss them, and decide which are historical facts and which are myths. When everyone has finished, teams give their answer for each statement in turn, justifying their response when possible. Teams score one point for each correct guess. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
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My Memories

ESL Past Simple Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this insightful past simple speaking activity, students use past simple affirmative and negative sentences to talk about various things they remember. This activity works best with older students or adults and is good for developing fluency. Give each group of three or four a set of topic cards. Students take it in turns to pick up a card from the top of the pile. The student who picks up the card then talks about the topic on the card for one or two minutes using past simple affirmative and negative sentences. The rest of the group asks the student questions to get him or her to speak more. Then, the next student takes a card and so on.
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