Past Tense Review ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Complete the Question

ESL Past Tense Review Activity - Grammar and Speaking: Gap-fill, Asking and Answering Questions from Prompts, Controlled and Freer Practice - Pair and Group work - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

This past tense review activity helps students practice forming and answering conversation questions in the past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple, and past perfect continuous tense. In two groups, students use the verb in brackets to complete each question on the worksheet in an appropriate past tense form. Next, students pair up with a member of the other group. Students then take it in turns to ask and answer the past tense conversation questions with their partner. Afterwards, students share what they found out about their partner with the class.
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Let's Review Past Tenses

ESL Past Tense Review Worksheet - Grammar Exercises: Matching, Gap-fill, Binary Choice - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this past tense review worksheet, students revise the past simple, past continuous, past perfect, and past perfect continuous tense. First, students match words in bold in sentences with the correct past tense. Next, the students write the name of the past tense that completes each description. The students then circle the past tense verb forms that best complete each sentence. After that, the students complete sentences with verbs in brackets in the correct past tense. Students then complete sentences using verbs from a box in their correct past tense form. Lastly, the students match sentence halves together and use a verb from a box in its past tense form to complete each sentence.
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Past Tense Race

ESL Past Tense Review Activity - Speaking: Matching, Sentence Completion - Pair work - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this free past tense activity, pairs race against each other to complete their partner's sentences with appropriate endings, putting verbs in the sentences in the correct past tense form. Student A starts by reading their sentence beginnings to Student B who listens and matches each one with a sentence ending. The student then completes the sentence by putting the verb in brackets in the correct past tense, reading the ending back to their partner. If Student A agrees the ending is correct, the student writes it down next to the beginning. Afterwards, the two students swap roles. The first pair to complete their sentences correctly is the winner.
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Past Tense Review Battleships

ESL Past Tense Review Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this fun past tense review game, students play battleships using the affirmative and negative forms of the past simple, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous. To start, students mark four ships on their grid. The students then play a game of battleships using different past tense affirmative and negative forms. The aim of the game is to be the first student to find and destroy all their partner's ships. Students take it in turns to choose a square on their partner's grid. However, instead of giving a grid reference to find a ship, the student makes a past tense sentence or question according to the item and past tense form shown on each axis. The other student listens to the past tense sentence or question, looks at their grid and says whether it is a hit or miss. The first student to sink all their partner's ships wins the game.
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What's the Sentence?

ESL Past Tense Review Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this past tense review game, students listen to information and race to make sentences using the past simple with either the past perfect or past continuous. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up a card and read out the 'story', 'connector' and 'background' parts on the card to the other students. The other group members listen and use the information to make a sentence using the past simple with either the past perfect or past continuous. The first group member to say the correct answer as shown on the card wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Past Tense Artists

ESL Past Tense Review Game - Grammar: Drawing, Guessing, Sentence Completion - Group work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

In this past tense drawing game, students race to guess mixed past tense sentences from drawings. One student from Team A comes up to the board and is given a card. The student reads the first part of the sentence aloud to the class and then draws the second part of the sentence on the board. Team A then has one minute to try to guess the second part of the sentence. The first student to say the second part of the sentence wins and scores a point for their team. Students must guess the exact words on the card to win. If Team A hasn't guessed correctly after one minute, Team B has one chance to guess the answer and steal the point. A student from Team B then comes to the board and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Past Tense Pairs

ESL Past Tense Review Activity - Reading, Listening, Matching and Writing - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

In this past tense review activity, students work with a partner to complete sentences containing various past tense verb forms. In pairs, one student begins by reading sentence halves 1-5 to their partner. Their partner listens, chooses the best sentence half to complete the sentence from their worksheet, and reads it back. If both students agree the sentence is correct, they write it on their worksheets. The students then swap roles and do the same for sentences 6-10. Next, the pairs categorize the sentences from the first exercise into functional groups, according to the past tense verbs used. After that, one student reads gap-fill sentences to their partner, who chooses the pair of verbs from their worksheet that best completes each sentence and says the verbs back using the correct past tense verb forms. The student then completes the sentence with the verbs. Finally, the students change roles and repeat the process for the last exercise.
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