Part 3: Practise, explore, investigate
These activities and practice examples illustrate how words change when suffixes such as -ed are added, and when the e is dropped and -ed is added. These activities can support children’s understanding of regular past tense verbs, and can be used for whole-class, group, individual work and homework.
- The children work in small groups. Each group needs a large piece of flipchart paper with the three columns labelled Add -ed, Drop the e and add -ed, Double the final consonant and add -ed.
- The verb cards should be placed in a pile, face down.
- One child takes a card from the pile and shows it to the group.
- The children decide which column the word belongs to and try changing the word. They can do this on individual whiteboards. If all agree, one child records the word in the agreed column on the flipchart paper.
- Repeat the process.
- Give the children regular past-tense verbs to sort into categories: sounding t (e.g. jumped), sounding d (e.g. called), sounding ed (e.g. wanted). The purpose is to confirm that, although the endings are pronounced differently, they are all spelt with -ed.
- Ask children to change a text written in the present tense into the past tense, for example, this sports report:
- Jones sprints down the right wing. Collier passes him the ball. Jones darts forward, spots Carrick and aims carefully. Kirby tries to take the ball but Carrick dodges him, dribbles the ball neatly round Kirk and kicks it high to Johnson. Johnson heads the ball and scores. One–nil. The fans clap, cheer and hug each other.
- Make a past-tense zigzag book by folding up a sheet of paper into a booklet. You can base the book on a theme, such as After a walk, After a cooking or PE session or A past season: Last summer I…
- Share the verbs in Practice examples: regular verbs (PDF-28 KB) Attachments with children
- Ask children to select three verbs from each category (add -ed, drop the e and add -ed, double the final consonant and add -ed).
- Ask them to write the present tense then add -ed with their partner.
- They practise learning and writing these words.
- Children research what happens to verbs ending in y preceded by a consonant when they are changed to the past tense.
- Children research past tense verbs that don’t add -ed.
In both cases, they present findings to the class.