Past Simple Passive ESL Activities and Worksheets

Famous Inventions and Discoveries

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this free past simple passive activity, students ask and answer questions about famous inventions and discoveries. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students complete the missing information in the table on their worksheet by taking it in turns to ask and answer past simple passive questions, e.g. 'What was discovered by Alexander Fleming?' When the students have finished, they check their answers by comparing tables with their partner.
 

Past Simple Passive News

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

In this past simple passive worksheet, students create news headlines and a news story. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by creating news headlines on four topics using the past simple passive. When the students have written the headlines, check them and have the students read them out. After that, the students work in pairs and create a news story using at least four examples of the past simple passive. Afterwards, pairs read their news stories to the class.
 

Past Simple Passive Quiz

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a rewarding past simple passive quiz to use with pre-intermediate students. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Students start by completing interesting historical facts on their worksheets with the past simple passive. When the students have finished, check the correct passive forms with the class. Student A then reads each fact to Student B. Student B has to guess if the facts are true or false. For each correct guess, students score one point. Afterwards, the students swap roles. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins. At the end of the activity, students tell the class which facts they found surprising.
 

Past Simple Passive Quiz Time

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun past simple passive teaching activity, students ask and answer general knowledge quiz questions in the past simple passive. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding part of the worksheet. Student A starts and asks the first quiz question from the prompt to Student B in the past simple passive, i.e. 'When was Facebook created?' Student A then gives three possible answers. The correct answer is shown in bold on the worksheet. Student B gives their answer by making a past simple passive sentence, e.g. 'Facebook was created in 2004'. If the answer is correct, the student scores a point. If the sentence is also grammatically correct, the student scores an extra point. The students then swap roles and Student B asks their first quiz question. The students continue taking it in turns until all the questions have been answered. The student with the highest score wins the game. Afterwards, review the questions and answers with the class. As an extension, students can write past simple passive sentences about the answers.
 

Here is the News

ESL Past Simple Passive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Low intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

Here is a free past simple passive worksheet based on the news. Students begin by rewriting past simple active sentences in the passive. After that, students read a news story and identify past simple passive sentences from the story, which they then change to their active form. Students then complete a set of news reports in the past simple passive. Finally, pairs of students create their own news story with the past simple passive and read them to the class.
 

General Knowledge Quiz

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this past simple passive worksheet activity, students create a general knowledge quiz. Give each pair of students a copy of the worksheet. Students then work together with their partner to complete past simple passive sentences with factual information, e.g. 'The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci'. Students must also use their own ideas to create two more factual past simple passive sentences at the end. When the students have completed all their sentences, they turn them into past simple passive questions, e.g. 'Who was the Mona Lisa painted by?' Each pair of students then joins with another pair. The students then use their questions to test the other pair's general knowledge. Pairs score one point for each correct answer. The pair with the highest score at the end wins the quiz.
 

Past Simple Passive Worksheet

ESL Past Simple Passive Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

Here is a past simple passive worksheet for intermediate students. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students start by completing sentences with the past simple passive form of the verbs in brackets. Next, students change past simple active sentences to past simple passive sentences. Students then write out newspaper headlines as complete active or passive past simple sentences. Lastly, students write newspaper headlines in the past simple passive that correspond to pictures.
 

When I was a child...

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Writing and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

This insightful past simple passive activity helps to teach students how to use the past simple passive followed by an infinitive with 'to' to talk about their experiences of growing up. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students write 12 sentences about their experiences of growing up using the verbs in the past simple passive followed by an infinitive with 'to', e.g. 'When I was a child, I was told to look both ways while crossing the road'. When the students have finished writing, divide them into groups of four and give each group a set of cards. Students decide who will be A, B, C and D and they write the names next to the corresponding letters at the bottom of the worksheet. The students then shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile on the desk. One student turns over the top card. The letter on the card refers to the student and the number refers to the sentence to be read out. The student corresponding to that letter then reads the numbered sentence to the group. For example, if the card reads C11, Student C reads sentence number 11 to the group. The other students then contribute with their own experiences for the same sentence. The students discuss whether they think people (e.g. parents, teachers, friends) were right to do that and whether they would do the same with their children. After the topic has been discussed, the next student turns over a card and so on. When the students have finished, they give feedback to the class on the topics they discussed.
 
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