Verbs are essential elements in every sentence. They’re also complex and can be a challenge for learners to master. It’s important to give students many different ways to practice. I always have fun coming up with creative ways for students to practice verb tenses. If you’re working on the past tense in your class, try these three activities.
1. Talking Chart – My Last Vacation
This activity gets students to practice past tense questions and answers. Students get speaking practice and also writing practice. It’s also nice because you can collect the handout afterward to see how students are doing with the topic. This activity also works great if your working on a vacation theme. If not, you can easily switch the questions to fit whatever you’re working on.
- Go over the questions and see if students have any questions.
- Give them a few minutes to think about and possibly write down how they can respond.
- Next, ask students to interview four different classmates and write down their answers for each question using complete sentences.
2. Past Tense Biography
Another great way to get students to practice the past tense is to ask them to write a past tense story. One way I do this is by using a handout like the one below.
- Put students into small groups.
- Ask them to write a story about this person using the past tense.
- Once each group has finished their biographies, have them share their stories with the class.
3. Past Tense Practice Handout
I created this handout as a sequence to practice the past tense with my students. There’s an error correction, a reading section, and then a place for students to write and answer questions about the reading.