When the weather is getting warmer, it is the perfect time to work on conjugating the progressive form of verbs. Children that are multilingual often have some difficulty with this task. It may be confusing to them when the -ing stays the same, but the helper before them shifts in the present, past, and future tense. This may be a challenging topic, so it is key to incorporate fun ways to get all students actively engaged.
Understanding the basics is important with the present form of progressive verbs. The present form must have a form of to be as a helper. An example: She is jumping on the bed. The past progressive uses the past tense of to be as a helper and implies something paused the action. A sample: Liam was jumping when he fell off the bed. The future progressive simply uses the helping verb will be. An example: He will be jumping in gym tomorrow afternoon.
Filling out a chart and conjugating verbs is boring and not going to keep kids involved. Make a list of verbs related to something. It could be with spring, sports, the school day, or anything else. Put the words like running, jumping, writing, reading, sneezing, coughing, and laughing on laminated cards. Make sure these are verbs that would mean something to students and be able to act out. Everyone picks a card. Begin with the future tense. Each person to the right of the card will read the card and make up a sentence to share about the other person.
For the present tense, get up and act out the verb. While they are running, jumping, writing, reading, sneezing, coughing, and laughing they will share a sentence about their action. Each person will start with “I am _____” and continue. Continue around the circle so each person can add onto the story about the action taking place. Sit back down in the circle and complete the activity with the past tense. Since they just finished doing something, each person should make up a sentence about what the person on their left completed.
For a tie in with home, have older children look at magazine and news paper ads for photos of people doing things. They can be baking, cooking, reading, walking, and beyond. Make a collage of action photos for them to take with them. Send home a sheet of instructions so families will understand what their children are doing. Give an example picture with a sentence for the present, past, and future progressive tenses.
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