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Part 3: Practise, explore, investigate

You can use these activities, extension activities and examples to help children practise using present and irregular past tense verbs across different formats, such as poems and posters. These activities can be used for whole-class, group, individual work and homework.

  • Give out cards with present and irregular past tense for children to sort into groups.
  • Ask children, in small groups, to create a past-tense alphabet. For example, yesterday I:
    • Ate an apple
    • Bought a cake
    • Caught a fish
    • Drank lemonade
    • Emptied the bin…
  • Ask children to make a collection of past-tense verbs based on a theme (e.g. after a PE session, after a cooking session, after playtime, after a holiday).
  • Ask children to compose a past-tense poem, each line beginning with, for example, Yesterday, Long ago or When I was young….

Partner work

  1. Children, in pairs, choose five irregular past-tense verbs that are difficult for them.
  2. They identify the tricky part and highlight it.
  3. They support each other in learning the verbs.
  4. They test each other in writing them.
  5. Then they repeat, with another five.

Extension activities

  • Children create a poster to explain verbs in the past tense.
  • Children rewrite the poem, using different verbs in the past tense.

Practice examples: irregular tense changes

Download the Practice examples: irregular tense changes (PDF-16 KB) Attachments to refer to during this part of the unit.