Practice Makes Perfect with Verb Tense

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verbs-esl-speech-therapyThe English language is filled with a lot of special rules that can make it difficult to learn. Irregular verbs complicate matters for a lot of children, especially ESL students. Some of the best ways to help them is to practice the irregular verbs in games and practice using them in conversations. Many speech language pathologists have shared lessons that they have used with their students online and will work well with many different age levels.

Phineas and Verb

The popularity of the Disney show Phineas and Ferb gave Sublime Speech the idea for her game called Phineas and VERB! Kids will see the familiar faces from the show on the cards that you can print out for use. In the first level of the game, Phineas and Ferb have sentences with a blank that need to be filled in with the correct verb tense. There are three choices to select from and when they guess the right verb tense they keep the card. Level two of the game does not include choices, and kids need to know the correct past tense of the verb on the card. Play continues and the person with the most cards at the end is the winner.

SLAP IT! – Irregular Verb Game

Now imagine two decks of cards with present and past tense of different verbs on them. Your goal is to match the colored present tense verb card in its pile to the one flipped over in the black and white present tense pile. Of course, others will be watching the colored cards being flipped over and may SLAP IT faster than you. SLAP IT! was created by Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational and includes a PDF for you to print and use.  The full set of instructions is included on the post, and the game a fantastic way to increase fluency and confidence with past tense irregular verbs.

Verb Shaker!

Crazy Speech World shared their version of a Verb Shaker that is a portable activity using a cleaned out plastic orange juice container. They explain how to use colored rice and laminated verb cards to create an activity that works on present and past tenses of verbs. You can download the instructions for this and try it out with your students. Once the shaker is finished you could use it to have kids tell you the past/present tense of the verb they found. They can use the opposite one in a sentence, or take them to create a silly story about a made up character.

The Verb Shaker could also be sent home to different families to share and practice at home. If you do this, be sure to secure the top. In addition to this, include clear directions on games they can place and make translations for any multilingual families that may need them.

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