Past Tense Points

Students get into groups and try to come up with past tense sentences that will give them the most points.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Carlee Miller on April 4, 2010.

Students get into pairs or groups, depending on class size. Each pair/group receives a worksheet.

Explain the basis of the worksheet. Each sentence can earn points based on content as follows:

  • If it is a complete sentence (subject+object+verb) = 1 point
  • If it is a question and the ALT's answer is "yes" = 1 point
  • If they use an irregular verb (swim-->swam) correctly = 1 point
  • If they add in a time-related phrase (last night, this morning, yesterday, etc) = 1 point

Any sentence that another group has already said receives no points. You can decide how literal to be about this, as some students will try to alter a sentence already said by another team by one word to still try to get points.

Because the students are aiming for points, they'll want to make as complex of a sentence/question as they can and also try to make it original, since they can't get points if another team says it.

Give the students 5-7 minutes, based on class ability, to make ten sentences/questions. At the end of the preparation time, have each group take turns reading out their sentences. You can have them janken to see which group goes first. For example, Group 1 reads their first sentence and then Group 2 reads their first sentence, and so on.

Whichever team has the most points at the end of the rounds wins.


You could add in a bizarre-ness element. If a sentence is really funny and makes the ALT laugh, that could be worth an additional point.



Total 1

Estimated time: 10-25 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

November 27, 2019

Beno Sensei February 13, 2020

This is a great activity for getting your students to use English in a creative way. I changed some of the rules to make it a bit easier for my first year students. Statements using past tense = 2 points (I studied English yesterday). Questions with a yes answer = 3 points, no answer = 1 point (Did you study English yesterday?). Funny or interesting question = 1 bonus point. Make sure you let your JTE answer some of the questions too!

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