Used to ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Did you use to...?

ESL Used to Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this engaging used to activity, students conduct a survey to find out what their classmates' lives were like as a child by asking and answering 'Did you use to...?' questions. First, students complete the worksheet with a 'Did you use to…?' question for each category. For example, in the games category, a student might write 'Did you use to play hide and seek as a child?' When everybody has finished, students go around the class, asking each other their questions and noting down the answers by putting a tick for yes and a cross for no in the appropriate column on the worksheet. When the students have finished, they report back their findings to the class.
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Growing Up

ESL Used to Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free used to board game, students practice used to and the past simple by discussing and answering questions about childhood memories. It is ideal for teenagers and adults. This game also provides students with a great opportunity to practice building a conversation about growing up. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a square, the student on their right asks the player the question on the square about their experience of growing up. The player then uses 'used to' and the past simple to answer the question. The group then explores the topic by asking follow-up questions and giving comments. The first student to reach the finish square wins the game.
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Then and Now

ESL Used to Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this used to speaking activity, students ask and answer questions about the way things used to be when they were 12 and the way things are now. Students start by thinking back to when they were 12 years old. The students use 'used to' to write answers to questions about their past habits, routines and states under the heading 'When I was 12 years old'. When the students have done that, they write answers under the heading 'Now', but this time they use the present simple to talk about present habits, routines and states. Next, in pairs, students take it in turns to ask and answer questions about the way things used to be when they were 12 and the way things are now by referring to the information on their worksheet. Finally, students tell the class about how their partner has changed.
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Interactive Version - In this interactive used to breakout room activity, students use used to and the present simple to ask and answer questions about the way things used to be and the way things are now.

 

Used To Practice

ESL Used To Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this used to worksheet, students practice forms of 'used to' in affirmative and negative statements, and Wh questions. To begin, students reorder words to make sentences with used to. Students then move on to rewrite past simple sentences using used to. Next, students use verbs from a box to write negative 'didn't use to' sentences. In the last exercise, students use words to make Wh questions with 'did you use to'. Finally, students ask and answer the questions with a partner.
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Interactive Version - In this used to interactive worksheet, students complete a variety of exercises to practice forms of 'used to' in statements and questions.

 

Blast from the Past

ESL Used to Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this free used to speaking activity, students play a game where they talk about how things were different in the past using used to and didn’t use to. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and talk about the topic on the card for a minimum of 30 seconds, saying how the thing was different in the past using used to and didn’t use to. Each time a student makes a sentence with used to or didn’t use to, they score one point. When a member of the group is talking, the other students time the speaker and award points. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
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Life Changes

ESL Used to Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This used to activity is ideal for practicing or reviewing the various forms of 'used to', e.g. get used to, getting used to, etc. In the activity, students ask and answer questions about the past and present using the various forms. First, students answer questions on their worksheet by writing short answers in a random order in speech bubbles. Next, students exchange worksheets with a partner. Students then take it in turns to choose an answer from one of their partner's speech bubbles and ask them questions to find out what the answer refers to. For example, if a student wrote the word 'beach' in one of the speech bubbles, their partner might ask 'Did you use to go to the beach on holiday? The student replies yes or no accordingly. When a student asks the right question, their partner explains their answer. After the answer has been explained and discussed, the student puts a tick next to the bubble and the students swap roles. At the end of the activity, students report back to the class on the most interesting things they found out about their partner.
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Memories

ESL Used to Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this used to game, students ask and answer 'Did you use to...?' questions about past habits and memories. The aim of the game is to ask the right questions. In pairs, students look at sentences in bold on the worksheet and write a 'Did you use to...?' question for each one to ask about their partner's past habits and memories. The students then write a true short answer for each sentence in bold at the bottom of the worksheet. Afterwards, students take it in turns to ask and answer the questions they have prepared. For each sentence, students ask their partner up to three questions. The students begin by asking the question they have written. Students then use the structure of the question to come up with two more questions if need be. If the first question is correct, the student scores three points. If the second question is right, the student scores two points and so on. The student with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
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Interactive Version - In this used to breakout room game, students practice asking and answering 'Did you use to...?' questions about their past.

 

My Childhood

ESL Used to Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this entertaining used to game, students give true and false information about their childhood. The students' task is to answer each prompt on their worksheet with true or false information as indicated. Working alone, students write their answers in sentence form using 'used to'. Students then pair up with someone from the other group. Student A goes first and tells Student B their first answer, e.g. 'I used to love playing chess when I was a child'. Student B then asks follow-up questions to help them decide if the answer is real or invented. Student B then guesses if Student A is lying or telling the truth and the correct answer is revealed. If Student B guesses correctly, they score a point. The students then swap roles. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Interactive Version - In this used to interactive breakout room activity, pairs of students play a true or false guessing game about their childhood.

 

People used to...

ESL Used to Guessing Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this rewarding used to activity, students play a guessing game where they talk about what people used to do and didn't use to do before certain inventions existed. In two groups, students complete sentences about what people used to do and didn't use to do before the invention of each item on their worksheet. Next, students pair up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to read their sentences to their partner, without saying the underlined invention. Instead, students use the word 'blank' as the missing word in the sentence, e.g. 'Before the invention of the 'blank', people used to...' Their partner then tries to guess the invention. For each correct guess, students score a point. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Interactive Version - In this used to breakout room guessing game, pairs of students talk about what people used to do and didn't use to do before certain inventions were created.

 

Recent Changes

ESL Used to Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this free used to activity, students play a guessing game where they talk about recent changes in their lives using 'I used to...', 'I didn't use to...' and 'I'm getting used to...' The worksheet shows recent changes in the student's life. The students' task is to write sentences about what they used to do, didn't use to do, and what they are getting used to, regarding each situation. In two groups, students complete the sentences in a way that is appropriate for each situation. Next, students pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to read out the three sentences for each situation. Their partner has three chances to guess the situation. For each correct guess, students score a point. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Interactive Version - In this free used to breakout room game, students talk about recent changes in their lives using various forms of used to.

 

Usually, Used to, Get used to

ESL Used to Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

Here is a fun used to board game to help students ask and answer questions about things they usually do, used to do, or could/couldn’t get used to doing. In pairs, students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they form a question from the prompt on the square with either 'Do you usually...?', 'Did you use to...?' or 'Do you think you could get used to...?' The student then asks the question to their partner who answers accordingly. If the question is formed correctly, the student stays on the square. If not, the student moves back two squares. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
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Looking back

ESL Used to Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

In this insightful used to speaking activity, students practice expressions with 'used to' by talking about past habits and memories. Students begin by writing true short answers for the items on the worksheet in a random order in the speech bubbles, e.g. I used to be really into it - skateboarding. Next, students swap worksheets with a partner. Students then take it in turns to choose an answer from one of their partner's speech bubbles and ask them to talk about it, e.g. 'Tell me about skateboarding'. Their partner uses the expression with 'used to' to talk about the topic, e.g. 'I used to be really into skateboarding. I would go to the skate park every day and practice for hours'. The student then asks follow-up questions and the pair develops a short conversation about the topic. After their partner has explained the answer and it's been discussed, the student puts a tick next to the speech bubble and the students swap roles.
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What's changed?

ESL Used to and Would Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining used to and would activity, students play a card game where they describe changes that have happened in their lives using used to, didn't use to, getting used to, would and wouldn't. Each card shows a change that has happened in the student's life. The students' task is to think of sentences that demonstrate that change using used to, didn’t use to, getting used to, would and wouldn’t. When the students are ready, they begin the game. Students take it in turns to choose one of their cards and make sentences, describing the change on the card using would(n't) and the various forms of used to. The other students listen and try to guess the change. The first student to guess correctly wins the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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