Sunday, February 12, 2012

Verb Tense Review and Irregular Verbs

Due to an in-service day, the coming week will be missing a day of language arts. My grade level thought it would be a good week to cover something we don't feel we've done enough on so far. Although we've had mini-lessons throughout daily language, we have not given a lot of critical input for irregular verbs. So, irregular verbs became our topic of choice.

Additionally, a huge initiative in our district, currently, is unpacking the topics and ensuring that students already have the necessary background knowledge or teach it.

I offered to take on creating foldables for this week. I originally figured I’d find something on the web that I could just steal or slightly modify, but I couldn’t find anything that worked for us. I had to make my own. The first foldable is mostly review for the students that have the background knowledge they are supposed to possess, but it serves to teach it to those that don’t too. Before we can discuss how irregular verbs differ from regular ones, students have to know that verbs have tenses, what this means, and the rules that govern regular verbs in each tense. (This is all kept to a 4th grade level, which means we didn’t need to get into perfect or progressive. Nor did we try to discuss aspect or mood or distinctions of tense, such as immediate past or distant past.) The second foldable attempts to create groupings that will help students remember and recall irregular verbs. It is not all encompassing, as that would have been one HUGE foldable. There are more than 180 irregular verbs, but some are more common than others. The ones that elementary students will come across with regularity were my main focus. I also tried to bring some light-hearted fun-poking at the issues of our English language (and why it can be hard to master) with some of my headings. My high-school-aged son laughed at the one called “At least you can tell they are related,” and suggested something rather funny (though inappropriate, even with the less offensive curse word substitute) for the “Unclassified” section. I think sometimes you have to have a sense of humor when it comes to teaching and discussing English and all its rules and exceptions, and I want to pass that along to my students too.

Anyhow, the first foldable is just a half sheet (length-wise) of paper that is folded in half and then cut at 1 ½ inch intervals from the bottom, which leaves a larger title/general info area. The other foldable is 2 sheets of paper cut in half length-wise. I removed one half of one of the sheets, using just 3 ½ sheets. They were staggered and folded. I then took the middle one out, cut along the fold, and returned just one of the cut sections. (I hope this makes sense. If you don’t cut it and remove half, you end up with an extra page.)

A good list of irregular verbs, which we will be looking at and talking about in class as we fill the second foldable out, is from a free, downloadable power point at: teachers pay teachers.

I hope this helps with irregular verbs in your classroom.


  1. This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing =)

  2. Hi,
    I'm a French teacher. My pupils are 6 to 9. I really love your work because this is how it looks like in my head, but in France, we often have very tradionnal ways of editing knowledge.
    Last week I was trying to get my pupils to recognize a verb in a sentence. I know that if I can recognize a verb, it is not because I learnt my lessons as a child and I cannot remember what made me succeed in recognizing a verb. So I tried to make them aware of their own way to it, but it is hard to put words on abstraction. I think this kind of foldables you do are amazing to give a body to knowledges.

  3. Thanks for sharing and spreading creativity. You inspire me!

  4. This is a great idea. I am introducing this in a formal way to my class and this will help us (and me!) a great deal.

  5. This is a great idea. I am introducing this in a formal way to my class and this will help us (and me!) a great deal.

  6. This is a great idea. I am introducing this in a formal way to my class and this will help us (and me!) a great deal.