“Used to” activity

This is a downloadable ESL classroom activity to present and practise "Used to" in the context of inventions.

Worksheet to practise used to

Download this activity for free!

Here’s some more info about the activity:

Aim To present and practise “used to”.
Activity Students think of important inventions and make corresponding sentences using “used to”.
Organisation Individual or pairs
Preparation Make enough copies of the worksheet for the number of students in your class.
What do I do?
  1. Ask students to write down three inventions that changed the world, what life was like before and after each invention.
  2. Use one student’s idea as an example to present the form of “used to”.
  3. Ask students to rewrite their sentences using “used to”.
  4. Cut up and mix sentence halves on pages 2 and 3, and ask students in pairs to match them.

Write down 3 inventions that changed the world!

Explain what life was like BEFORE each invention and how life is different WITH it

The Internet:
Before the Internet, most people wrote letters, but now we send emails.

People used to count with abacuses
England used to send criminals to Australia
European children used to go to work when they were very young
People used to travel on horses
People used to keep food fresh by putting salt on it
People used to tell each other stories for entertainment
Women didn’t use to wear trousers
People used to tell the time with the sun

but now we have calculators and computers.
but now English people go there on holiday.
but now they usually don’t start working until they are 16 or 18.
but now we have cars and motorbikes.
but now we have refrigerators.
but now they watch TV and movies.
but now many women wear jeans.
but now we use watches and clocks.

Keith Taylor
Keith is the co-founder of Eslbase. He has been a teacher and teacher trainer for over 20 years, in Indonesia, Australia, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and now in the UK.

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