One of the most difficult tenses for English language students to learn is the present perfect tense. To help your students practice the present perfect tense in a fun and engaging way we have put together this list of our favorite classroom games to teach the present perfect tense.
Games And Activities To Teach The Present Perfect Tense
1. Find Somebody Who..
Top of our list of games and activities to teach the present perfect tense is the classic ESL activity ‘Find Somebody Who..’.
Find somebody who is a great speaking activity to practice the present perfect tense as it encourages learners to speak using present perfect questions, affirmative answers, and negative answers.
To play this game, download and print this present perfect activity worksheet and give one to each student. Next, students should walk around the class and ask and answer questions using the present perfect tense to complete the worksheet.
For example, at the top of the activity worksheet is ‘Find somebody who has been to another country’. So, students should talk with their classmates and ask the present perfect question, “Have you been to another country?” and students would answer something like “Yes, I have been to Spain.” / “No, I haven’t been to another country.“
‘Find somebody who…’ is a fantastic speaking game to practice the present perfect tense.
2. Spot The Difference
This next game is a fun way to elicit present perfect sentences from students. Ask students to close their eyes or look away. Then, move or change something in the classroom. Next, tell students to open their eyes and ask them “What have I changed / moved?”.
Students should try to guess what has changed in the classroom while making a present perfect sentence.
For example, while students’ eyes are closed you could move a book on your desk to the other side of the desk. Then, when students wake up and guess they can make the sentence “You have moved the book over there.”
This activity is so simple but incredibly effective and fun while teaching the present perfect tense.
3. Liar Game
This next present perfect activity requires no prep and is super fun. Ask students to think of one truth and one lie about something they have done. Then invite students up to the front of the class to tell their two things using the present perfect tense.
The other students in class must try to guess which sentence is true and which one is false.
For example, a student might say “I have been to America.” and “I have met the president.” Then the other students must guess which one of these sentences is really true.
This present perfect game can be played as a whole class, in small groups, or even in pairs.
4. Have you ever…?
Once students are familiar with how to make present perfect sentences and questions, this game is a great way to practice expanding these sentences.
To play this game, ask one student to make a present perfect question. For example, “Have you ever watched TV?”. Then, the next student should make this question longer, e.g. “Have you ever watched TV in your bedroom?”. Then the next student should make the sentence even longer, e.g. “Have you ever watched TV in your bedroom while eating pizza?”.
Continue like this making the question longer and longer to make the longest present perfect question possible. This can lead to some very funny questions and makes practicing present perfect sentences incredibly fun.
To make it even more fun, encourage students to answer ‘Yes, I have.” after each question and as the question becomes more and more absurd, students will find it more and more funny.
5. I have Not…
This next game is really fun and a great way to get your students moving around while practicing negative present perfect sentences.
To begin, arrange the classroom chairs in a circle. Ensure there are enough chairs for all but one of your students. Now the game can begin.
One student should stand in the middle and the other students should sit on the chairs. The student in the middle must say something they have not done using the present perfect tense. For example, the student might say “I have not bought anything today.”
Then, any student who has bought something that day must stand up quickly and find a different seat. The student in the middle must try to sit down in one of the seats before the other students do.
The student left standing in the middle must then make a new sentence and the game starts again.
6. Present Perfect Quiz
This present perfect tense activity is a fun quiz to review the present perfect tense. There are ten questions and each question asks students to choose ‘have’ or ‘has’ to complete the sentences.
More Present Perfect Tense Activities
Here are some more present perfect tense activities and resources to help you teach the present perfect tense.
- Present Perfect Worksheets
- Present Perfect Online Exercises – Positive Sentences
- Present Perfect Online Exercises – Negative Sentences
- Present Perfect Online Exercises – Questions
Thanks for reading. I hope you found some fun games and activity ideas to teach the present perfect tense.
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