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12 Fun activities and games to teach different tenses to kids.

Have you ever wondered why your child mixes up his/her tenses? Has correcting their tenses become an impossible task for you? Has it become a daunting job to get them to study the rules of tense when they are glued to various video games. Well, why don’t you try the following games to increase their learning with their full involvement?

There has been a lot of research around games-based learning. When children play a game there is always a motivation of winning which serves as positive reinforcement. It is only through games that they get engaged in an enjoyable manner- this proves beneficial to the learning process.

Fortunately, we have various games to teach tenses to our learners which will build their curiosity and willingness to learn till they

1. Simple Past Tense Activity:

Divide the board into two sections.

At the top of the first section,  write “Usually” and at the top of the other section write “Yesterday”.

In the first part, write a few daily habits or regular activities. Then in the second section write a similar sentence but in the past tense form.

For example write:

Usually

I usually wake up at 6 am

I have shower at 7:30 am.

I go to school by bus.

Yesterday

Yesterday, I woke up at 9 am.

I had a shower at 9.30 am.

I went to school by bus.

Now you can divide students into pairs and ask each one of them to tell their partners about their past activities or a fun event from their past.

2. Activity for Simple Present Tense:

Interviews by classmates:

You can make pairs of students and tell them to ask questions about the habits, interests and hobbies of their partner. Habits etc are written in simple present tense like, I wake up at 6:30, everyday. Now, ask each person to introduce their partner to the rest of the class. This is an interesting way to practice using sentences in the present tense.

3. Simple Future Tense Game:

Birthday Party Planning:

This activity will ensure that kids come up with their own future tense sentences. This will also challenge their speaking ability while teaching the future tense.

Now, tell students that it is your sister’s birthday this Saturday and you’re planning to throw her a surprise birthday party. Tell them that they are all invited and ask them to help you plan the best surprise party for her.

Ask each student about their ideas for the party and what they will do. So, all of them will have to use future tense sentences in this conversation.

Also, ask each of them to make different sentences and they cannot repeat what anyone else has already said.

And whoever fails to think of a new sentence, will be OUT of the game.

For example, ” I will bring colourful placards”, “I will bring some fairy lights, “I will bring a beautiful cake.”, etc.

4. Activity for Past Perfect Tense:

Guess the sequence:

Divide students into pairs and ask one of them to show their partners a list of 10 activities they did yesterday. And then ask their partner to put them in order and ask questions related to those activities.

For example: Had you already left the school when you called me?

Students will love knowing what their friends did yesterday or on the weekend.

This is surely a fun way to teach them the past perfect tense.

5. Present perfect Tense Activity:

The Yes I have Ever game:

You must have heard about the “Never have I ever game” on social media. This one is somewhat different.  You can tell your students to ask each other “Have you ever..?” type questions. They can answer all questions with “Yes” only. And their partner can then ask them only three “Wh” questions (what, when, where, how) in the Simple Past tense and try to guess from their answers and body language if they are lying. The one who guesses right, wins the game. Yay!

6.Fun Activity for Future Perfect Tense:

In this fun future perfect activity, ask your students to guess about which places other students or their friends are going to on holiday from clues which will be given to them in the future perfect tense. For example one student will say “By the end of my holiday…” and then he will give a clue for example, By the end of my holiday I will have seen the Taj Mahal. The other students will try to guess the place he will visit on the holiday. And they will say- You are going to Agra.  

The one who guesses most answers correctly, wins the game.

And they will enjoy this activity and learn future perfect tense effortlessly.

7. Past continuous tense activity:

The “what’s in the picture” Challenge:

Bring an image to the class in which a lot of actions can be seen taking place. For example, a picture in which children are playing in the park, or street vendors are selling different items, workers building a wall etc.  Show this image to the students, give them some time, and tell them to analyze the details. After some time, cover the image and  ask students what the people in the image were doing. They will need to use past continuous tense sentences.

For example: Children were playing in the park.

                       Workers were building the wall.

8.Fun game to teach Present Continuous Tense

The Look Around yourself game:

Tell your class to look out of the window or around themselves and observe what’s happening. And, then ask them to speak out, what they saw in the present continuous tense. Like, The maths teacher is coming. The nursery kids are playing in the corridors.

9. Future continuous tense activity:

The prediction game:

Now, you can ask your students to write down what will be going on in the class or in the school at the same time tomorrow. And you’ll be amazed by their creativity. Children have a creative mind, and they can imagine a plethora of things. For example, they can write, ‘Rohan will be absent’ and ‘Science teacher will be wearing a pink shirt’.

 You can also ask them to make predictions about what the weather will be like. Senior students can also talk about political and socio-economic predictions.

This type of prediction game will interest them and help them learn using the future continuous tense sentences.

10. Activity for Past Perfect Continuous tense

The time duration game:

You can write some durations of time on small pieces of paper (one month, two days, six years, five minutes, etc.). Now, ask your students to draw a card and then share what they had been doing for that period from now. For example, a child who gets a one-month card, might say, ‘I had been learning guitar for one month before joining my YoungStar English Programme.

11. Fun activity for Present Perfect Continuous Tense :

The Recent events game:

This is one of the students’ most favourite activities. Because they just love telling stories from the past.  You can ask them about what they have been doing lately. And they will have to answer it by using the present perfect continuous tense. Ask each one of them to share what he or she has been doing recently. from their recent pasts.  And you’ll get to see how easily they will start making sentences using the present perfect continuous tense.

12.Game for Future perfect continuous tense

A busy semester:

Beginning of a new semester brings a lot of enthusiasm in each student. Ask your students to make a list of ten to fifteen activities that they have been enjoying since the beginning of their new semester. Then, tell them to think and write a paragraph about how long they will have been doing their favourite activities once the semester ends. This activity will help them learn the use of future perfect continuous tenses.

Conclusion Game based learning is something which has become indispensable in the 21st century. It is the one of the most interesting ways in which students can be engaged in the learning process. Our online live classes use many such game based activities to equip our learners with tenses. It is rightly said that, “Competition is the best motivation” (by Cordae). It is through this healthy competition in a game based setup, learners would find the motivation to grasp the nitty-gritties of Tenses.

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