Past Simple Passive ESL Activities and Worksheets

Famous Inventions and Discoveries

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

In this past simple passive worksheet activity, students ask and answer questions about famous inventions and discoveries. The students are divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given 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 Passive News

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

In this past simple passive worksheet, students create news headlines and a news story. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by creating news headlines on four topics using the past simple passive. When they have written the headlines, the students read them out and their use of the past simple passive is checked. After that, the students work in pairs and create a news story using at least four examples of the past simple passive. When they have finished, pairs of students read their news stories to the rest of the class and feedback is given.
 

Past Passive Quiz

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

Here is a fun past simple passive quiz to use with pre-intermediate students. The students are split into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. Students start off by completing interesting historical facts on their worksheets with the past simple passive. When the students have finished, the correct passive forms are checked with the class. Student A then reads each fact to Student B. Student B has to guess if the facts are true or false. One point is awarded for each correct guess. 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.
 

Here is the News

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

Here is an engaging 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 - 35 minutes

In this past simple passive worksheet activity, students create a general knowledge quiz. The students are divided into pairs and each pair is given 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.
 

When I was a child...

ESL Past Simple Passive Activity - Writing and Speaking - Intermediate - 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. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students then 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, they are divided into groups of four and given 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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