Past Simple Wh Questions ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Where did they go?

ESL Past Simple Questions Activity - Speaking: Information Gap, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Freer Practice - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this past simple information gap activity, students ask and answer Wh questions in the past simple to complete missing information in a chart. In pairs, 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
 

Wh Questions with Did

ESL Wh Questions with Did Worksheet - Grammar Exercises: Matching, Gap-fill, Unscrambling, Writing Questions -  Speaking Activity: Controlled and Freer Practice - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

This past simple Wh questions worksheet helps students learn and practice Wh questions with did. Students start by matching past simple Wh questions with answers. Next, students complete sentences and questions with the correct question words. Students then put words in the correct order to create Wh questions with did. Students then move on to create past simple Wh questions with did that match a set of answers. After that, students complete a dialogue with past simple Wh questions and then practice the dialogue with a partner. Lastly, students use the theme of the dialogue to ask their partner what they did last Saturday night. Students try to find out as much information as they can about their evening using past simple Wh questions with did.
Wh Questions with Did Preview
 

Your Last Holiday

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Freer Practice - Pair Work - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple speaking activity, students use Wh questions to find out about a classmate's last holiday. Students begin by creating past simple questions from the prompts on their worksheets. 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 a partner’s previous holiday. When everyone has finished, students tell the class about their partner’s last holiday.
Your Last Holiday Preview
 

My Last Holiday

ESL Past Simple Running Dication - Grammar and Speaking Activity: Forming, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Table Completion - Pair and Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 45 minutes

In this free past simple questions running dictation activity, students ask and answer past simple Wh questions about holidays. In 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 the students have finished, they use prompts on a 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, students ask three classmates about their last holiday using the questions 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
 

Past Simple Wh Question Time

ESL Past Simple Questions Game - Grammar and Speaking: Forming Questions from Prompts - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free past simple questions game to play in class. The aim of the game is to make past simple Wh questions that elicit certain words or phrases written on 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 - Grammar: Forming and Asking Questions from Prompts, Answering Questions - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun past simple questions game, students try to answer all their opponent's questions correctly. In pairs, 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, 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

ESL Past Simple Questions Activity - Grammar and Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Controlled and Freer Practice - Pair Work - 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. In pairs, 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 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
 

The Honeymoon

ESL Past Simple Information Gap Activity - Grammar, Writing and Speaking: Information Gap, Writing, Asking and Answering Question from Prompts - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free past simple information gap activity, students write and then ask past simple Wh questions in order to complete a text. In two groups, 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
 

The QuASI Structure

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Worksheet - Grammar Exercises: Matching, Categorizing, Error Correction, Writing Questions - 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. First, students match questions with 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
 

What's the question?

ESL Past Simple Questions Activities - Grammar Exercises, Table Completion, Writing Questions, Gap-fill - Speaking Game: Relay, Forming Questions from Prompts - Group Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In these past simple Wh question activities, students complete a worksheet to practice past simple verb forms and Wh questions. Students then play a relay race game where they make past simple questions that would elicit specific answers. First, students complete a 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 past simple questions relay race game. Each team stands 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 it to the student in front of them. This continues down the line until it reaches the student at the front. The first team to have their student at the front make an appropriate question scores one point for using an appropriate question word and another point for making a suitable question. The team with the most points at the end wins.
What's the question? Preview
 

When did you do that?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Speaking: Asking Questions from Prompts, Asking and Answering Questions, Freer Practice - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This past simple questions speaking activity helps lower-level students to practice Wh questions and time expressions in the past. 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 tell the class what they found out.
When did you do that? Preview
 

Where did you go on holiday?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Grammar, Writing and Speaking: Writing Questions and Answers, Reading and Completing a Dialogue - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This rewarding past simple holiday questions activity helps students ask and answer questions about their last holiday. 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
 

When was the last time...?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Grammar and Speaking: Forming, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a 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. First, students use 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 a 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
 

Your Partner's Past

ESL Past Simple Questions Game - Grammar and Speaking: Gap-fill, Guessing, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts - Pair Work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this past simple guessing game, students write, ask and answer a variety of past simple Wh questions with the verb to be and do about a partner's past. First, students write past simple Wh questions to ask their partner by filling in gaps in questions and creating questions of their own. Next, students guess their partner's answer to each question and write down their guess. 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. If a student's guess was the same or very similar to their partner's answer, the student puts a tick. If not, the student puts a cross. The student who guessed the most correct answers about their partner's past wins.
Your Partner's Past Preview
 

Ask Me a Question

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Grammar, Writing and Speaking: Completing and Answering Questions, Guided Discussion - Group Work - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this past simple questions activity, students review past simple Wh questions by writing questions for other classmates to answer. Students write their name at the bottom of the worksheet 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. When all the questions have been written, the students hand the worksheet back to the person whose name is written on the sheet. The students unfold their worksheets and read the questions. Finally, students find the person who wrote each question and answer it.
Ask me a question Preview
 

Do you remember?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Activity - Grammar and Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions, Controlled and Freer Practice - Intermediate (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
 

Leonardo DiCaprio

ESL Past Simple Questions Activity - Grammar, Writing and Speaking: Information Gap, Writing, Asking and Answering Question from Prompts - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this past simple information gap activity, students write and then ask Wh questions in order to complete a text about Leonardo DiCaprio's life. In two groups, students write down the ten past simple Wh questions they need to find out missing details in a text about Leonardo DiCaprio. Students then work with a partner from the other group and 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 provided. When the students have finished exchanging information, they check their work by comparing texts.
Leonardo DiCaprio Preview
 

What did you do?

ESL Past Simple Wh Questions Game - Grammar and Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions, Freer Practice - Group Work - Intermediate (B1-B2) - 35 minutes

Here is an engaging free past simple questions game to help students practice asking and answering Wh questions. Two team leaders take it in turns to secretly choose a past simple verb from a 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
 

ESL Essentials eBook Series

New Teaching Resources eBooks

Now Available!

Get Started Here

LATEST FREE
RESOURCES

LATEST MEMBER
RESOURCES