In the Order the Events ESL activity, students work together to put events from their lives in chronological order.
If you have more than ten students, divide the class into groups of six to ten.
- Students individually think of an important event from any point in their lives. They write it down in the past simple, without specifying the time (e.g. I graduated from university).
- Students work together to order themselves in a timeline of their events. The student with the most recent event stands at the front of class, and the earliest at the back.
- Starting with the earliest event, the students say their event in the past simple. However they also have to say the events of all the students earlier than them in the timeline, in the past perfect simple. For example, Before I graduated from university, Laura had gotten her first job, and Amir had finished school.
The Order The Events ESL activity is specifically designed for practising the past perfect simple, and highlighting how it is used to order past events. Due to the controlled, repetitive nature of the language, it is best used when introducing intermediate students to the grammar for the first time.
For a similar activity in which students instead order historical events (as well as an interactive game), see Timeline.
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