July 7, 2017
by Anna Whaley

Lesson plan

Making a Verb Verdict

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  • Students will be able to recognize correct and incorrect uses of past tense verbs when considering the corresponding present tense verbs.
  • Students will be able to make corrections to reflect the proper use of irregular verbs in context.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students that you are going to give them a word (e.g. jump) and ask them how that that word can be changed to show the past tense.
  • Divide students in pairs or small groups and ask them to brainstorm other words that follow a similar pattern. Guide them with the following words if needed: cook, call, and bake.
  • Remind the students that most of the time, when present tense verbs are changed to the past tense, the suffix -ed is used. Sometimes there are irregular verbs that do not follow this pattern.
  • Tell the students that today they will be working on making a verdict, or decision, about how certain irregular verbs are used.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the sample list of irregular verbs for students to reference throughout the lesson (this can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard or written on chart paper).
  • Display the teacher modeling sentences from the lesson plan attachment either on an interactive whiteboard or by writing the sentences on chart paper.
  • Think aloud, identifying the verb in each sentence and noting whether the correct verb is used for the past tense. For the verbs that are incorrect, circle the verb and model the process of writing the correct verb.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they will go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom, looking for pairs of sentences and making a verdict, or decision, about the words in each sentence.
  • Divide students into small groups of three or four.
  • Tell the students that they need to work with their group and find a pair of sentences. Once they find a pair of sentences they should stand by the sentence and work on finding the verbs and determining if they are used correctly.
  • Invite groups to share their findings with the rest of the class.
  • Give additional examples and refer students to the irregular word list, if needed.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the Spotting Something Strange worksheet.
  • Circulate around the room and direct students’ attention to the irregular word list, if needed.


  • Challenge students to provide matching past tense verbs that correspond with present tense verbs on the worksheet Name That Verb.


  • If students struggle with using irregular verbs, have the students create flashcards with corresponding present and past tense verbs. The flash cards can be used to play word games, such as memory.
  • With an interactive whiteboard, challenge students to play a game of verb match-up, matching present tense verbs with corresponding irregular past tense verbs.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to evaluate which verbs go together as present and past tense verbs.
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet To Fit or Not to Fit?
(5 minutes)
  • Divide class into two teams.
  • Call out a present tense verb.
  • Invite students to stand when they can say the matching past tense verb.
  • Keep points and repeat several times.
  • Invite students to give some examples of matching irregular verbs.

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