Verb tenses make up a huge part of a language, and English is no exception. Verb tenses give us the power to add the element of time to our communication, which is super important. There are so many different ways to make learning about verb tenses fun, and there are also many engaging ways to drill and practice the use of the twelve different verb tenses in English. Here, we’ve gathered thirty-five of the best ways to teach, drill, and practice verb tenses with your English language students, so dive right in and take a look!
1. Overview Lecture of All Verb Tenses
A great way to start learning about all of the different verb tenses in English is to start with this video lecture. It’s a bit long, but it is also engaging. It takes the students through all twelve of the verb tenses in the English language, and it provides plenty of excellent example sentences along the way.
Learn More: Learn English with EnglishClass101.com
2. Visual Aids: Timelines
To get your students to really understand the timing of different verb tenses, it helps to have a strong visual aid. These verb tense timelines give students a way to visualize each of the verb tenses’ timings. It can be a great tool to have in the classroom to help students remember the correct usage of each verb tense.
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3. Act it Out
This is a review activity that is perfect for wrapping up a lesson about one specific verb tense. With each verb tense, you can use this dramatic version of an acting game to really make the lesson stick with all of your students. Here, non-verbal acting is the bridge to consistent and correct English language use.
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4. Group Stories with Narrative Tenses
With this game, pick a few verb tenses to focus on. The narrative tenses (like simple past, present perfect, past continuous, and past perfect) are the best for this activity. Start with one sentence, then choose a student to continue the story from your first sentence. The story continues until everyone has added a sentence.
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5. Practice: Simple Present and Simple Past Verb Tenses
This online activity will help students practice the present simple and past simple verb tenses. It gives the correct answer and original answer for each of the questions, and it also includes helpful tips that can help solidify these tenses and really make them stick.
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6. Overview Lecture of Modal Verbs
With this video lecture, you can make sure that your students know all of the basics about modal verbs. These modals are the key to expressing actions that don’t follow a conventional timeline like the normal verb tenses. It’s the perfect language/ English lesson to introduce basic modals to your English language learners.
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7. Irregular Verbs Relay Game
This relay game uses a pre-made presentation that is ready to go. All you have to do is present these slides and follow the directions: it’s a perfect and fun way to review irregular verbs. The best part is that it’s already set up and prepared for you; you just have to press play to get started!
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8. Discussion Questions with Irregular Verbs
Here is an excellent list of discussion questions that will get your students talking with irregular verbs. There are some common themes, but the topics are wide-ranging and engaging. It’s a perfect class activity, or it works well in small groups as well. This is a fun way to involve everyone in the class discussion and to get each student practicing the irregular verbs!
9. Picture Dictionary with Verb Tenses
You can use this picture dictionary of action verbs to help students learn and drill English verb tenses and forms. You can cut these into slips of paper with one verb each and then do a couple of activities, such as acting out or drawing these verbs. It’s a fun basic for several different guessing and acting games, too!
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10. Past Tense Games
This is a list of great games that help students practice the simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous forms of the past tense. It includes everything from personal study games to activities that you can do with your whole class. Thanks to these fun and engaging games, your students will be able to use the past tense in no time!
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11. Present Continuous Drawing Competitions
Students can practice the present continuous tense with this set of drawing worksheets. Their fun drawings will inspire and remind them of all the great present continuous verbs they’ve learned. Plus, this game also helps to reinforce prepositions that often appear with the present continuous tense.
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12. Speed Up For Tenses Game
This online interactive game is a great way to practice forming all the different verb tenses. It presents the player with a time crunch and fun visuals, so it’s very engaging for English language learners of all ages. Plus, it has useful tips throughout gameplay!
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13. Practice: Simple Present and Present Continuous Verb Tenses
These online tense worksheets follow the simple present and present continuous verb tenses. There are great examples of worksheets that highlight the timing differences between these two popular tenses for continuous time. All of these additional questions can really help drill and practice this lesson topic.
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14. Discussion Questions with the Present Perfect Tense
This list of discussion questions is just a twist on the game “never have I ever.” It’s a fun way to learn about your student’s life experiences and to hear stories of all their favorite memories. You’ll hear everything from encounters with famous people to their most memorable moments. It’s perfect for building rapport as well.
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15. Interactive Online Game for Verb Tenses
This is a simple flash game that works wonders when it comes to reviewing and drilling English verb tenses. It’s also a fun way to foster healthy competition among your students, which can be a cool way to motivate them whilst learning the tougher tenses.
Learn More: ESL Games Plus
16. Present Tense Games
This is a list of great games to get your students to use the present tenses. The games help students practice these tenses so that they can use them more easily and effectively in their speaking and writing. It’s also a great way to bring the class together!
Learn More: English Club
17. Online Worksheets for Present Tenses
These worksheets are specially designed for English language learners who are focusing on the four different present tenses. The worksheets cover all forms of the verbs, so students can focus on the affirmative, negative, and question forms for each of the present tenses.
Learn More: Live Worksheets
18. Craft: Verb Tense Rainbows
This adorable craft is a colorful way to help students organize all that they know about verb tenses. You can also include modals and helping verbs on your rainbows; it’s highly customizable to meet the level and needs of your class!
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19. Practice: Future Verb Tenses
These online interactive exercises are perfect for practicing all the different ways to build the future tense. These future tense worksheets include tips and tricks as well as the correct answers. This way, students can study and practice the future tense on their own with this nice worksheet.
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20. Build Tense Tents
Did you catch the little pun in the name of this activity? These tense tents are great for helping students sort and contextualize verbs that they see in everyday life. It can also help them build and recognize new tenses and forms of the verbs that they’re already comfortable with.
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21. Online Worksheets for Past Tenses
This packet of worksheets is a great way for students to review and drill the past tenses, including the perfect and continuous tenses. It’s perfect for helping students practice past tenses so that they can use them to tell stories or relay important events to others in their speaking and writing.
Learn More: Live Worksheets
22. Moving Around with Conjugations
As you’re going through your normal school day with your students, take the chance to practice using verb tenses. The key here is to raise awareness of each activity’s timing and corresponding tense as you discuss it with the kids throughout the day.
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23. Practice: Modal Verbs
This list of worksheets is designed to help students practice modal verbs. It covers all modals, from the basic “should” and “must” to more advanced modal forms like the ones we see in conditional or unreal sentences. Plus, since it offers the true sentence for each question, students can practice on their own with this excellent interactive resource.
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24. Correct vs. Incorrect Tense Sentences
This is a great way for kids to practice their editing skills and show real mastery over the subject. When they can identify correct and incorrect, they demonstrate that they truly understand the concept. Plus, it’s helpful to see their own mistakes side by side with the corrected version.
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25. Irregular Verbs with Legos
This is a fun matching activity that focuses on the different forms of irregular verbs. You can set up the game with Lego bricks and a permanent marker. Simply write the first, second, and third forms of irregular verbs on the bricks and set the kids loose to match them up!
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26. Online Worksheets for Future Tenses
With this packet of worksheets, you can get your students thinking and writing about their plans for the future. The activities cover all of the future tenses, including the perfect and continuous tenses. These worksheets are geared toward more advanced language learners.
Learn More: English 4U
27. Linking Verbs with Paper Links
This activity focuses on modals and linking verbs. You can use strips of colorful paper to make “links”. On each link, write a word and have the students connect them in the correct order. This can be especially helpful when you’re practicing word order for negative and question forms of each verb tense.
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28. Human Sentences Line-Up
This is another activity that’s great for practicing word order for negative and question forms of each verb tense because it focuses on putting all the helping verbs in the correct place. It’s also a fun way to get kids out of their seats and moving around the classroom!
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29. Practice: Conditionals with Mixed Verb Tenses
These exercises include everything from true or false questions to normal questions and fill-in-the-blank questions. These mixed-tense worksheets are great for more advanced language learners who are ready to study on their own with these online interactive activities.
Learn More: Agenda Web
30. Time Travel Armbands
This fun and easy printable craft help kids use their imaginations to get them thinking about verb tenses. Plus, students get to move around and use the total physical response for this activity, which makes it a fun favorite for kids of all ages!
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31. Zip, Zap, Zop
This is a fast-paced game that requires kids to memorize the verbs and verb tenses quickly. It’s perfect for review, and it’s a great way to start or end a class about verb tenses.
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32. Verb Flashcards
These flashcards are great for practicing both the vocabulary and grammar of verbs. The pictures on the cards are clear and colorful, which makes them a beneficial resource for young or new language learners. They can also help facilitate additional questions and discussion about verbs and verb tenses.
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34. Explaining Verbs with Detailed Pictures
This series of excellent pictures is perfect for helping students identify verb vocabulary and practice putting these verbs in the various tenses and forms. As students get more advanced in their language skills, you can have them make different forms of each action, too.
Learn More: iSLCOLLECTIVE
35. Perfect Tenses Spinner Game
With this simple, printable spinner game, you can get students to practice the perfect tenses, among others. Simply spin the wheel and see which verb tense it lands on. Then, have the student create (either writing or speaking) a sentence that incorporates that verb and the corresponding tense. You can even add a competitive element if you want to!
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