Verb tenses are some of the most important aspects of a new grammar’s language - and also one of the trickiest to get right in the beginning. As an ESL teacher, you know how challenging it can be to design tense exercises that keep students engaged, while also making sure they’re well-drilled on the fundamentals of a certain tense. Balancing the need to teach proper use of the past simple tense with the need for fun and challenging activities in the classroom can often seem like a chore.
Different teachers take different approaches to this challenger. Some simply drill their students on tense until the students can successfully produce every form of a given verb - as was the practice for decades - while others take a more modern approach, and try to mix it up in the classroom with a hodgepodge of games, reading, speaking, and other exercises. Your approach may involve any or all of these elements - which is why it’s important to have a diverse grab-bag of resources at your disposal.
BusyTeacher.org has got you covered. Our 966 past simple tense worksheets are guaranteed to keep your students talking, creating sentences, and working together to help each other learn the rules of how an English verb is used in the past simple tense. These worksheets provide a variety of interesting and relevant topics, which means your students can take what they’ve learned out of the classroom, and start applying it to their real-world English speaking and writing, right away.
Some of our past simple tense worksheets are just simple verb lists and grammar exercises - all complete with pronunciation guides and usage examples, of course. Others use popular songs whose lyrics fall mostly into the past simple tense - freeing you from the hassle of tracking down a song that’s useful for teaching this tense. Other worksheets help you bring writing or speaking exercises into the classroom, and encourage students to use the past simple tense to talk about their own lives. And still others lay out the rules for board games, so your students can play and learn at the same time.
One handy feature of BusyTeacher.org is the ability to view any of our 966 past simple worksheets as a thumbnail, without having to click and wait for the worksheet to load. This is a handy time-saver, as it can give you a general idea of what each worksheet looks like without requiring you to even leave this page. Plus, every worksheet on this site is completely free to download and use in your lessons - you don’t even have to register or provide any information to us in return.
How can you be sure these worksheets will work for you? Because they all come directly from the classrooms of ESL teachers around the world, who’ve found them to be especially effective for teaching the past simple tense. Got a worksheet of your own that you’d like to share? Just click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page, and you can join our worldwide community of contributing teachers.
So scroll down, check out our worksheets, and find out what benefits BusyTeacher.org has to offer your classroom!
A past tense (abbreviated pst) is a grammatical tense that places an action or situation in the past of the current moment (in an absolute tense system), or prior to some other event, whether that is past, present, or future (in a relative tense system). Not all languages mark verbs for the past tense (Mandarin Chinese, for example, does not); in some languages, the grammatical expression of tense is mixed with the expression of mood and/or aspect (see Tense-aspect-mood). In English, there are two verb forms which are commonly called "past tense", the so-called simple past, sometimes misleadingly called the preterite, which is a true tense, and the present perfect, which is generally considered an aspect rather than a tense. These combine with other aspects including the continuous and progressive aspects to create several additional forms: Simple past is formed for regular verbs by adding -d or – ed to the root of a word. Examples: He walked to the store, or They danced all night.