1,052 FREE Past Simple Worksheets

FREE Past Simple Worksheets

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 1,052 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 1,052 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!

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GRAMMAR TIP:What Is Past Tense?
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.
Freebase CC-BY
Source: Past Tense on Freebase, licensed under CC-BY
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The Past Tenses Show Poem

The Past Tenses Show Poem

, , Past Simple
This is a little poem I came up with as a metaphor for the narrative tenses. You can use it as a poster or a fun handout for higher level groups. You can ask them why each metaphor is used and do ...
2 Views 1,547 IntAdvExam
The Legend of the Scarecrow (Past Tenses Revision)

The Legend of the Scarecrow (Past Tenses Revision)

, , Past Simple
This is a worksheet to revise the narrative tenses, namely the past simple, past continuous and past perfect. It allows students to practice their listening, reading, pronunciation, vocabulary and ...
3 Views 3,253 Pre-IntIntAdvExam
Passive Voice Worksheet (Simple Past)

Passive Voice Worksheet (Simple Past)

Ghislaine Martínez
, Past Simple
This is a simple worksheet about passive voice (using simple past). It has a brief description about the passive voice and its structure in the simple past and items. Item 1: write the sentences u ...
2 Views 4,291 Pre-IntInt
Song Worksheet: Who by Pink

Song Worksheet: Who by Pink

A.E
Listening activity which may be used as a warm-up or a follow-up activity to practice the simple past tense. Students listen to the song and try to write the correct forms of the verbs in the blan ...
2 Views 3,349 ElemPre-Int
Song Worksheet: Viva Forever by Spice Girls ( Past Simple)

Song Worksheet: Viva Forever by Spice Girls ( Past Simple)

Dewi Santi
It is designed for listening practice particularly while teaching the past simple tense. The song used to be very famous performed by Spice Girls, so the class might enjoy it very much. You just h ...
2 Views 4,537 Pre-IntIntAdv
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Song Worksheet: We Don't Talk Anymore

Song Worksheet: We Don't Talk Anymore

This song is an  easily understandable duet. The worksheet is divided into five activities, mostly requiring simple past and gerund; The 1st and 2nd exercises are to fill ...
4 Views 5,277 Pre-IntInt
The King and the Past Simple

The King and the Past Simple

This is a worksheet that I put together for my adult A1 class but I think it would also work well for an A2 class or any other for some good old music culture, for that matter. It contains a biogr ...
2 Views 6,407 All
Song Worksheet: September by JP Cooper

Song Worksheet: September by JP Cooper

Listening activity for beginners, this is useful to study was/were and verbs in simple past, by the way the song is great!  Icludes filling gaps and ordering sentences activities as well. Wor ...
1 Views 1,508 BegPre-Int
What Did You Do on Your Last Vacation?

What Did You Do on Your Last Vacation?

LUZ ZUNICO TELLO
Past Simple,
It's an amazing worksheet about what ss did on their last vacation.  You'll find here a wordsearch, questions about what people did last weekend, also activities such as reading comprehensio ...
3 Views 5,713 Elem
Song Worksheet: Creep by Radiohead

Song Worksheet: Creep by Radiohead

Teacher Alex Gotardo
It uses the song "Creep" by the British band Radiohead to work on present simple, present progressive and past simple tenses. This is the uncut version so if your students are sensitive to bad lan ...
2 Views 4,208 ElemPre-Int
Movie Wprksheet: Short Film+ Description Activity ( Past)

Movie Wprksheet: Short Film+ Description Activity ( Past)

English Through Videos
This worksheet is designed to be used with a YouTube video. It helps learners practise the use of past tenses to describe what happened in a short film. Play the video using this link: https://www ...
4 Views 7,586 ElemPre-IntIntAdv
Song Worksheet: Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran

Song Worksheet: Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran

Patricia Arlt
Listening to songs is a nice way to improve listening skills and pronunciation plus you can learn about cultural backgrounds. This is a song worksheet based on "Galway Girl" by Ed Sheeran. Student ...
4 Views 6,941 Pre-IntInt
Volcano Game, Backpack 4

Volcano Game, Backpack 4

This ppt includes a game and it is based on Backpack 4, units 4, 5 and 6. It contains the following topics: extinct/ endangered animals, life in the past, and health and illnesses. Divide your cla ...
6 Views 4,964 ElemPre-Int
Volcano Game, Past Simple and Directions

Volcano Game, Past Simple and Directions

This ppt is a good game for your students to review past simple and directions. Divide your class into 2 teams. Students are going to choose letters by chance. Each question has got a point and if ...
11 Views 11,774 Elem
Song Worksheet: Fairytale of New York by Christy Moore

Song Worksheet: Fairytale of New York by Christy Moore

Paul Rooney
The song is a cover of the Christmas classic by the Pogues, performed by Christy Moore on the Jools Holland show. The song begins and ends with a short anecdote giving some background to how the s ...
2 Views 6,956 Pre-IntIntAdv
American Cinema, Reading Comprehension

American Cinema, Reading Comprehension

rosalba zacchi
A reading comprehension about the 'golden age' of Hollywood and the cinema of the past. There's a true-false exercise and some open questions mainly for the simple past tense. It can be used to te ...
5 Views 5,579 Pre-Int
Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare

Catherine and Andréia
» » Past Simple
This speaking game is for students to freely talk about their lives and experiences. It is based on a game students usually play with an empty bottle. They have to sit in a circle and turn a bottl ...
1 Views 4,321 IntAdv
Test- Grade 8

Test- Grade 8

nergis memili
This is a test for grade 8. The answer key is included. Here you can find questions about some grammar like simple past and the past continuous tense. Also there are some questions about suggestio ...
1 Views 6,188 Elem
Action Verb

Action Verb

Past Simple,
Prepare a list of main texts you want to practice. For example if you want to practice making sentences using the simple past tense, choose a number of verbs as your main text,  e.g., read, e ...
3 Views 6,514 ElemPre-Int
Anne of Green Gables (Story Book)

Anne of Green Gables (Story Book)

» » Past Simple
This worksheet is appropriate for improving students' listening skills. It's suitable for elementary students. This is based on the story book called "Anne of Green Gables". Hope you find it ...
3 Views 3,179 BegElem
Past Simple vs Past Continuous Powerpoint

Past Simple vs Past Continuous Powerpoint

Afni Yusuff
This powerpoint slide is excellent for teachers to explain the difference between simple past and past continuous (progressive). The slides are detailed with interesting animations, pictures, soun ...
11 Views 7,614 All
Past Perfect Powerpoint

Past Perfect Powerpoint

Afni Yusuff
, Past Simple
This powerpoint provides complete explanation and examples of the  sentence structures. It also provides pictures and  differences between past simple and past perfect so students are ab ...
6 Views 4,592 All
Battleships - Past Simple Questions

Battleships - Past Simple Questions

Alena
» » Past Simple
It is played the same as a regular Battleships game in pairs. Students mark their fleet (I laminate my worksheets for students to use erasable markers) and use either different design or different ...
17 Views 16,061 ElemPre-Int
Verb Tenses

Verb Tenses

Veronica
Verb tenses are tools that English speakers use to express time in their language. You may find that many English tenses do not have direct translations in your language. That is not a problem. By ...
9 Views 11,335 Pre-IntInt
Movie Worksheet: Mr. Bean at the Hospital (Mixed Past Tenses)

Movie Worksheet: Mr. Bean at the Hospital (Mixed Past Tenses)

English Through Videos
This fun video activity is to practise using mixed past tenses, including past simple, past continuous, and past perfect. The video shows Mr. Bean at the hospital. Learners must combine two senten ...
15 Views 19,620 IntAdvExam

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