Past Simple Wh Questions ESL Activities, Worksheets and Games

My Last Holiday

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 45 minutes

In this free past simple questions activity, students take part in a running dictation about someone's holiday. The students then ask and answer past simple Wh questions about their last holiday. Stick the running dictation text onto a wall outside the classroom. Then, divide the students into pairs. One student is the 'writer' and the other is the 'reader'. The readers run to the text, read it, and then return and dictate what they read to their partner. When they have finished, the students check their text. Next, give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students use the prompts on the worksheet to create past simple questions about holidays. Students then use the questions to write notes about their own holiday in a chart on their worksheet. After that, they ask three other students about their last holiday and complete the other columns in the chart. As a follow-up, the students write a paragraph about their last holiday in the past simple.
My Last Holiday Preview
 

The Past and Present

ESL Past Simple Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple Wh questions activity, students use the past and present simple to ask about a partner's habits as a child and now. Divide the students into pairs and give each student a copy of the worksheet. Each topic on the worksheet contains three questions. The first two questions deal with the past. Students ask a past simple yes/no question and then a past simple Wh question to find out information about their partner's childhood. The third question is a present simple Wh question to find out information about their partner's habits now. Students interview their partner about their childhood and present habits and write the answers on the worksheet. When everyone has finished, the students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
The Past and Present Preview

Interactive Version - In this breakout room activity, students use past simple and present simple questions to ask a partner about their habits when they were a child and now.

 

When did you do that?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

This insightful past simple questions activity helps lower-level students to practice Wh questions and time expressions in the past. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students go around the class asking their classmates 'When did you last...?' questions from the worksheet. When a student speaks to a classmate, they note down their name and then ask some past simple Wh follow-up questions to find out more information. When everyone has finished, students give feedback to the rest of the class on what they found out.
When did you do that? Preview
 

When was the last time...?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a useful past simple questions activity to help teach students how to ask and answer past simple Wh questions. In the activity, students interview each other about things they did in the past. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Individually, students use the verbs, picture prompts and question words to write down past simple Wh questions on their worksheet. The students then take it in turns to ask and answer the questions with their partner about the last time they did the things on their worksheet. When they have finished, the students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
When was the last time...? Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple questions breakout room activity, pairs of students create and ask past simple Wh questions about various things.

 

Where did they go?

ESL Past Simple Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this past simple questions speaking activity, students ask and answer Wh questions in order to complete missing information in a chart. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students take it in turns to use the prompts on their worksheet to ask past simple Wh questions to their partner. The students then write the missing information in the chart. When the students have finished, they compare charts to check their answers.
Where did they go? Preview

Interactive Version - In this interactive past simple breakout room activity, pairs of students complete missing information in a chart by asking and answering past simple Wh questions.

 

Your Last Holiday

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple questions activity, students use Wh questions to find out about a classmate's last holiday. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students begin by creating past simple questions from the prompts on their worksheet. Students then answer the questions by completing information about their last holiday in the column marked 'Me'. After that, the students ask and answer the past simple questions and complete the chart with information about their partner’s previous holiday. When everyone has finished, students tell the class about their partner’s last holiday.
Your Last Holiday Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple questions breakout room activity, students use past simple Wh questions to find out about a partner's last holiday.

 

Past Simple Wh Question Time

ESL Past Simple Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free past simple questions game to play in class. Students play the game in groups. Give each player a question card, containing ten different question words and give each group a set of answer cards. The aim of the game is to make past simple Wh questions that elicit certain words or phrases written on the answer cards. One student takes an answer card and reads it aloud. The players in the group then race to make a past simple Wh question using a question word from their card to elicit the answer. The first player to do this correctly takes the answer card and crosses off the question word on their card. Then, it's the next student’s turn to take an answer card and read it aloud. The first player to cross off all their question words wins the game.
Past Simple Wh Question Time Preview
 

Roll of the Dice

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this entertaining past simple questions game, students try to answer all their opponent's questions correctly. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding part of the worksheet and each pair two dice. Student B begins by rolling the dice and adding up the numbers rolled. Student A then formulates the past simple question that corresponds to the number on their worksheet. For example, if Student B rolls a two, Student A asks question two on their worksheet, i.e. 'What did you wear yesterday?' If Student B answers correctly, Student A crosses off the question. If Student B makes a grammatical mistake or is unable to answer appropriately in the form of a sentence, the question remains active and can be asked again, depending on the number rolled. This process continues with students taking it in turns to roll the dice and ask and answer questions. The first student to correctly answer all their partner's questions wins the game.
Roll of the Dice Preview
 

The First Time

EFL Past Simple Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 45 minutes

This past simple Wh questions activity helps to teach students how to ask Wh questions and use the past simple tense with time expressions to talk about experiences earlier in life. The questions are designed to jog students’ memories about events in the past so it is more appropriate for older students. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Students take it in turns to ask each other 'When was the first time...?' questions from the worksheet. Students write down their partner's response and then ask past simple Wh follow-up questions to develop a conversation about each event. When the students have finished, they tell the class what they found out about their partner. As an extension, students write a short biographical account about their partner's experiences.
The First Time Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple breakout room activity, students use past simple Wh questions to find out when a partner first did certain things.

 

The Honeymoon

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

This free past simple Wh questions activity is ideal for pre-intermediate students. Divide the students into two groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Working together with the people in their group, students write down the past simple Wh questions they need to find out the missing information in the text on their worksheet. Students then pair up with someone from the other group. The students take it in turns to ask and answer questions in numerical order to find out the missing information. The students write the information in the blank spaces in the text on their worksheet. When the students have asked all their questions, they check their answers and spelling by comparing texts.
The Honeymoon Preview
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Interactive Version - This is a free interactive past simple questions breakout room activity, pairs of students do an information gap exercise where they write and ask past simple Wh questions in order to complete a text.

 

The QuASI Structure

EFL Past Simple Wh Questions Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple questions worksheet, students learn and practice past simple Wh question word order using the QuASI structure. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching questions with their correct answers in order to practice question words. Next, students read about the QuASI structure and how it is used to help remember the correct word order for Wh questions. The students then categorize words into a table to demonstrate the QuASI structure. Students then use the QuASI structure to rewrite questions, correcting the mistakes. After that, students use the QuASI structure to write questions for a set of answers. In the last exercise, students read a short passage and create past simple Wh questions about the story, beginning with the question words provided. As an extension, you can have the students practice asking and answering their questions about the story with a partner.
The QuASI Structure Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple questions interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises to learn the QuASI  structure for Wh questions.

 

What's the question?

ESL Past Simple Questions Worksheet and Game - Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this two-part past simple Wh questions activity, students complete a worksheet to practice regular and irregular verb forms, question words and past simple Wh questions. The students then play a relay race game where they make past simple questions that would elicit specific answers. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Working alone, students complete a present simple and past simple verb chart with missing verbs. Students then write past simple Wh questions that would elicit a set of answers. Next, students complete gaps with question words to explain what each question word is used for. Afterwards, students play a relay race game to reinforce what they learnt in the worksheet. Divide the students into equal teams of four or five. Have each team stand in a line, facing the board. Read the first answer to the class. The student at the back of each line thinks of a past simple Wh question that will elicit the answer and whispers the question to the student in front of them. That student whispers the question to the student in front of them and so on, down the line until it reaches the student at the front. The first student at the front to receive the question and put up their hand is first to answer. Teams score one point for using an appropriate question word and another point for making a suitable question. If a question is inappropriate or grammatically incorrect, another team has the opportunity to make a question and score the points. The students at the front of the lines then move to the back, everyone moves up one space and the process is repeated. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
What's the question? Preview

Interactive Version - In this interactive past simple Wh questions worksheet, students complete a range of exercises to practice past simple questions, regular and irregular verb forms, and question words.

 

Where did you go on holiday?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This rewarding past simple Wh questions activity helps students ask and answer questions about their last holiday. Divide the students into pairs and give each student a copy of the worksheet. The pairs begin by reading a conversation about Julia Robert's last holiday. Then, working alone, students change the underlined parts of the dialogue with information about their last holiday. Students also add four more past simple Wh follow-up questions and answers to the conversation from a list on their worksheet. The students then practice the new dialogue with their partner and present it to the class.
Where did you go on holiday? Preview
 

Your Partner's Past

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

In this past simple Wh questions activity, students play a guessing game about a partner's past where they write, ask and answer a variety of past simple Wh questions with the verb 'to be' and 'do'. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Tell the students that they are going to complete and write past simple Wh questions to ask a partner. The students then fill in the gaps in questions 1 to 12 using the correct past simple form. For questions 13 to 18, students create their own past simple Wh questions. Afterwards, go through questions 1 to 12 and review the students' own questions. Next, divide the students into pairs. Working alone, the students guess their partner's answer to each question and write their response in the second column. The students then take it in turns to ask and answer the questions on the worksheet to find out if their guesses were right or wrong, writing their partner's answer in the third column. If a student's guess was the same or very similar to their partner's answer, the student puts a tick in the last column. If not, the student puts a cross. When the students have finished, they add up their ticks to see who guessed the most correct answers about their partner's past. Finally, have the students share what they found out about their partner with the class and see who had the most correct guesses.
Your Partner's Past Preview
 

Do you remember?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

Here is a past simple questions speaking activity to help higher-level students ask questions and talk about past events. In the activity, students go around the class asking and answering 'When did you last...?' questions. The students also practice asking for additional information by asking past simple Wh follow-up questions. When the students have finished, they share what they found out with the class.
Do you remember? Preview
 

Ask me a question

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this past simple questions activity, students review past simple Wh questions by writing questions for other classmates to answer. Have the students sit in a circle in groups and give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students write their name at the bottom of the worksheet as indicated and then hand the worksheet to the person on their right. The student on their right completes the first past simple Wh question (What did...?) for the person whose name is at the bottom of the worksheet. The student also writes their name next to the question to show who wrote it. The student then folds the paper so the question is hidden and passes it to the person on their right who writes the next question and so on. If the group is small and a student sees their name at the bottom of the worksheet, they pass it to the person on their right without writing a question. When all the questions have been written, the students hand the worksheet back to the person whose name is written at the bottom of the sheet. The students unfold their worksheet and read the questions. The students then find the person who wrote each question and answer it, discussing the answer with their classmate if possible. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session to find out what questions the students were asked.
Ask me a question Preview
 

Leonardo DiCaprio

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

In this challenging past simple questions activity, students write and then ask Wh questions in order to complete a text about Leonardo DiCaprio's life. Divide the students into groups (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The students are told that they are going to read some information about Leonardo DiCaprio's life. However, some of the details are missing from the text. Working together, the students write down the ten past simple Wh questions they need to find out the missing details in the text. When the students have finished writing questions, they work with a partner from the other group. Student A and B sit facing one another. Student A goes first and asks Student B the first question on their worksheet. After that, the students take it in turns to ask and answer questions in numerical order to find out the information missing from their own text. The students write the information in the blank spaces in the text on their worksheet. When they have finished exchanging information, the pairs check their work by comparing texts.
Leonardo DiCaprio Preview

Interactive Version - In this past simple questions breakout room activity, students write past simple Wh questions and then ask them to a partner in order to complete a text about Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

What did you do?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

Here is an engaging free past simple questions game to help students practice asking and answering Wh questions. Choose two team leaders and give each leader a past simple verbs worksheet. The leaders stand at opposite sides of the room with the rest of the class in the middle. The two team leaders take it in turns to secretly choose a past simple verb from the list. The leader then thinks of a past simple Wh question that will elicit a response using the chosen verb. The question is not allowed to contain any form of that verb. The leader then asks the past simple question to one of the students in the middle of the class. If the student answers using the verb in the past simple tense, the student comes over to the leader and joins their team. Every time a student joins a team, they become the new team leader. The new and old leaders then work together to think of the next question. The teams take it in turns to play until there are no more students left in the middle of the room. The team with the most members at the end of the game wins.
What did you do? Preview
 
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