Lesson plan

Let's Mingle with Irregular Verbs!

In this interactive lesson, students play a mingle game with their classmates to match the infinitive and past tense forms of irregular verbs. Students need exposure to irregular verbs in order to memorize them and this lesson makes it fun!
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Students will be able to recognize and form the past tense of irregular verbs.

(10 minutes)
  • Display a piece of chart paper that is divided into two columns. In the first column, write the title "verbs" and make a list of verbs in their infinitive form. Include both regular and irregular verbs on the list. (Note: you may prepare this list prior to the lesson. See suggested resources for a sample list.)
  • Point to the first verb on the list and have students turn and tell a partner the past tense form of the verb (i.e. paint/painted).
  • Call on a student to share the answer and record the past tense form in the second column of the chart, which can be titled "past tense."
  • Repeat for each of the verbs on the list, until the second column is filled in.
  • Support students as needed during this activity.
  • Tell students that today they will be reviewing irregular verbs.
(10 minutes)
  • Remind students that when verbs are written in past tense, we usually add the suffix -ed (or -d when a verb ends in "e"). Refer to several examples of regular verbs on the chart and underline the -ed ending in each regular past tense verb.
  • Explain that these verbs are called regular verbs because they follow a predictable set of spelling rules.
  • Tell students that some verbs don't follow the rules. Point to some examples on the chart and draw a star next to each irregular verb on the list.
  • Explain that these verbs are called irregular verbs because their past tense form does not follow a consistent rule or pattern.
  • Remind students that, since these don't follow the rules, we have to memorize them.
  • Ask students if they know of any other irregular verbs.
  • Add suggestions to the chart and label them with a star.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will be playing a mingle game with irregular verbs.
  • Hand out index cards that have an irregular verb written on each. Make sure that there are matched cards, so that for each infinitive form of a verb, there is another card with the past tense form, like "grow" and "grew." (These cards should be prepared before the lesson. Try to include verbs that are not listed on the chart.)
  • Make sure that each student recieves a card with one verb written on it. If there are an odd number of students, you may join the game yourself or you may include an irregular verb that has two past tense forms (i.e., be/was/were).
  • Tell students to take their verb card and walk around the room looking for the person that has a matching verb card so that they can make a pair (infinitive/past tense).
  • When they find their partner, instruct pairs of students to sit down and make a poster together.
  • Make construction paper available and tell students to glue their verb cards to the paper. Then, to complete their poster, have students write a sentence for each form of the verb and draw a picture to go with each sentence.
  • When all posters are complete, do a classroom gallery walk. Tell students to leave their posters on their desks and invite everyone to quietly walk around the room to look at the posters.
  • Optional: display the posters on a word wall as a tool for your students.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the worksheet Irregular Verb Story 2.
  • Instruct students to complete the worksheet independently.
  • Circulate and offer support as needed.


  • Provide opportunities for students to practice with a digital exercise (see related media).
  • Color code the verb chart and mingle game cards. Write all of the infinitives in blue and the past tense verbs in red. This way, during the mingle game, students will be able to find their partner more easily and will recognize whether their card has an infinitive or past tense verb.


  • Have students look for examples of irregular verbs in their own reading. Encourage students to keep a list of the irregular verbs they find.
(4 minutes)
  • Hold up a small, personal-sized whiteboard with an irregular verb written on it in either the infinitive or past tense form.
  • On their own personal whiteboards, have students write the other form of the the verb you are holding up (i.e., if you wrote "shook," they would write "shake").
  • Repeat with several irregular verbs, making sure to alternate between the past tense and infinitive forms of the verbs.
  • Scan student answers to gauge understanding.
(1 minute)
  • Ask students to rate their own understanding of irregular verbs.
  • Tell them to show a thumbs-up if they feel that they get it, a thumbs-down if they do not get it, and a thumb to the side if they sort of get it, but would like more practice.

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