Ser and estar imperfect and preterite tense practice activity

This activity serves as a valuable practice exercise to help students differentiate between the verbs “ser” and “estar” in the preterite and imperfect tenses, all while delving into the history of South America and Spain. By engaging in this exercise, students can learn about the rich history of the Spanish-speaking world while honing their language skills.

The activity consists of thoughtfully crafted questions related to the history of South America and Spain. These questions are designed to challenge students to select the appropriate verb (“ser” or “estar”) and tense (preterite or imperfect) based on the context of the historical narratives.

For instance, a question about the history of the Inca Empire might ask, “¿Cómo _____ (ser/estar) la estructura política de los incas antes de la llegada de los españoles?” (What _____ (to be/to be) the political structure of the Incas before the arrival of the Spaniards?). Here, students must choose the correct form of the verb “ser” or “estar” and conjugate it in either the preterite or imperfect tense based on their understanding of the historical context.

The objective of this activity is twofold: to enhance students’ grasp of the distinctions between “ser” and “estar” and to impart knowledge about the historical events and developments that have shaped South America and Spain. By making the questions somewhat challenging, students are encouraged to research and find answers independently, promoting self-directed learning and curiosity.

Completing these questions during class allows students to engage in interactive discussions and receive guidance from the instructor. However, finding the answers at home encourages independent research and reinforces their understanding of the historical content.

In summary, this activity offers a holistic approach to language learning by combining grammar practice with historical education. Students not only refine their language skills but also gain insight into the complex history of South America and Spain. By navigating the nuances of “ser” and “estar” in the preterite and imperfect tenses within historical narratives, students develop both their linguistic competence and their understanding of the cultural and historical contexts in which the Spanish language is used.

Download the exercise in PDF

Download the instructions in PDF