Children who are multilingual may have a more difficult time properly conjugating the progressive forms of verbs. While the -ing form of the verb remains the same, the helpers before them are important in the present, past, and future tenses. Since this might be tedious, think outside of the box and actively engage your students in the process.
Learning the Basics
The present form of a progressive verb must have a form of to be as a helper. An example: She is running to class. The past progressive form uses the past tense of to be as a helper and implies something interrupted the action. An example: Lisa was running to class when she fell in the hall. The future progressive simply uses the helping verb “will be.” For example: She will be running to class tomorrow morning.
Acting Out Progressive Verb Tenses
Rather than make a chart to practice this grammar filled skill, get groups involved. First, make a group of verbs related to spring and/or the school day and put them onto laminated cards. A few suggestions would be: running, jumping, biking, planting, writing, and reading. Think of as many words that would mean something to your individual students and include them. Have everyone select their own card. The future tense is a good place to begin. Have the person to the left read the card and make up a sentence to share about the other individual.
When moving onto the present tense, allow each person to get up and act out the verb. While they are jumping, reading, running, or whatever the action is, have them state what they are doing in a sentence. Each child should start it with “I am ____” and continue. As they keep doing this, allow each of the other group members make up a sentence about that child in the present tense.
Once everyone is seated and finished acting out their verb, remind the group how to use the past tense. Now that the activities are over, when you talk about them you must make it clear that it happened earlier. Have each person make a sentence up about the person on their right and what they did.
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, etc. 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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