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34 Easy to Understand Past Tense Writing Prompts

Writing prompts for the past tense are a great tool for parents, teachers, and tutors to use to help kids become better writers. Here are some easy-to-understand past tense writing prompts.

Past Tense Writing Prompts

One of the best ways of helping kids to improve their grammar is by asking them to write. Writing prompts allow them to put their learning to use and challenge themselves with different tasks. This activity also provides an opportunity to express themselves, revisit old memories, process emotions, and reflect.

Processing emotions and effectively expressing them is a lifelong skill that will help kids throughout their lives.

In this article, we have gathered some fun, light-hearted, beginner-friendly, past-tense questions to help students of all ages to practice their grammar skills while becoming a better writer.

34 Past Tense Writing Prompts

  1. Write a story about your favorite character who faced a challenge. Use simple past tense verbs to describe different events. 
  2. Write about a memorable childhood experience and what lesson did it teach you?
  3. Describe a typical day in your life during middle school. Do you miss that time? 
  4. Have you ever heard/read the term “stuck in the past”? Explain what it means.
  5. When was the last time you saw a fictional movie? Which movie was it? Did you download it or stream it online?
  6. If you get a time-traveling machine, which year in the past would you like to visit and why?
  7. Write a short poem on “the past”.
  8. What did you do during your last vacation? Did you have fun? Were there any new experiences? Give as much detail as possible.
  9. What was your daily routine like a year ago? 
  10. Do you know what a period film is? Have you ever watched any? 
  11. What did you do before school today? Where you went and who you interacted with. 
  12. Write about the last mystery book you read. Did it teach you something?
  13. What did you eat for breakfast last weekend?
  14. Who did you admire the most as a kid?
  15. What were you scared of the most during childhood?
  16. Write about any major historical event and what did you learn from it?
    Prompts for Writing in Past Tense
  17. Recall a major event in your life and use it as a plot for your next fiction story. Make sure to only use past tense verbs when writing the story.  
  18. Write about the last bad dream you had. Explain everything that you remember.
  19. What was your favorite meal as a kid?
  20. What positive influence did your childhood best friend leave on you?
  21. Write the differences between simple past and present tense. 
  22. What was your favorite hobby in middle school?
  23. Do you remember your first friend in school? Write about them.
  24. When was the last time you met a famous person? Describe the experience
  25. Describe an interest you had in the past. How you got into it and why you eventually stopped?
  26. If you could talk to your past self, what would you say?
  27. Recall the last meaningful conversation you had with someone. Write about how it influenced you. 
  28. Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. 
  29. Write about a time when you made a major mistake at school. Explain your feelings and how you overcame the situation. What did that experience teach you?
  30. Write about your transition from elementary to middle school. Was it easier to connect with older students? Did you have trouble making friends? 
  31. What was your new year’s resolution for this year? Have you achieved it yet?
  32. Recall a time when you gave the most difficult exam at school. Did you ace it?
  33. Write about your favorite place during your childhood.
  34. If you get a chance to go back 5 years in the past, what would you do?

I hope you enjoyed this list of Past tense writing prompts!

65 More Free Writing Prompts

7 Tips for Writing in the Past Tense

  1. Use the simple past tense for actions that happened and were completed in the past. For example, “I went to the store.”
  2. Use the past perfect tense for actions that happened before another action in the past. For example, “I had already eaten when she arrived.”
  3. Use the past progressive tense for actions that were happening in the past. For example, “I was eating when she arrived.”
  4. Use the past modal verbs to express possibility, necessity, or obligation in the past. For example, “I could have gone to the store, but I didn’t.”
  5. Use the past participle to form past participial phrases. For example, “I was wearing my red dress.”
  6. Use the past infinitive to form infinitive phrases. For example, “I wanted to go to the store.”
  7. Use the past gerund to form gerund phrases. For example, “I enjoyed going to the store.”

5 Tips to Develop Better Writing Skills

  1. Be consistent in your use of tenses. Don’t switch back and forth between past and present tense.
  2. Use strong verbs and vivid language. This will help your writing come alive.
  3. Use sensory details to help the reader experience the story. What did the characters see, hear, smell, taste, and feel?
  4. Show, don’t tell. Don’t just tell the reader what happened; show them through your writing.
  5. Revise and edit your work carefully. This will help you catch any errors in grammar or spelling.

Ok, that’s all for today.

Until next time, write on…

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Past Tense Writing Ideas

PS Check out this helpful resource—> Past, Present, or Future Tense worksheet

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