Past Simple Card Game

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This fun past simple card game helps students to practice talking about actions they performed in the past. Students must create past simple affirmative sentences based on picture cards. The game includes a unique ‘swap verb’ game mechanic for added strategy, improving the playability of the game. See the full description below for more details.

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Here’s a fun past simple card game for students of levels A1 to A2 (beginner and elementary).

Divide students into groups of three or four and give each group a set of all the cards. Students shuffle the cards, dealing them out evenly.

The first student starts by laying down a picture card. They must then say a past simple affirmative sentence about the action on the card, for example β€œYesterday, I went shopping.”

The next student must then place another β€œI went…” card, for example β€œYesterday, I went to school.” Alternatively, if they have one, the can place down a β€œSWAP VERB” card. This allows them to change the verb to something else, for example β€œYesterday, I DID the washing up.”

Students take it in turns to try and place down their cards. The first student to get rid of all their cards wins. However, the fewer cards they have left, the harder it will be to follow another player’s verb with their own. As a result, the game gets trickier towards the end.

Time permitting, students can play a few rounds of the game. Alternatively, A1 students can further simplify the game by dispensing with the β€œSWAP VERB” cards and allowing any verb to be used.

Acceptable answers include:

played: tennis, football/soccer, volleyball, basketball, (the) guitar, (video/computer) games.
went: camping, swimming, shopping, jogging/running, to school/to class, cycling, (rock) climbing.
did: (my) homework, the washing up/the dishes, aerobics/yoga/(some) exercise, (the) gardening.
had: a shower, a drink, breakfast, an argument, a nap/snooze/rest.
got: dressed/ready, up/out of bed, angry.
read: a book, the/a newspaper.
took: a photograph/picture/selfie.