While activities and games may be helpful to learn parts of speech like verbs. The regulations of verbs have multiple exceptions and irregular verbs are one of them. For instance, “speak-spoke-spoken”, “eat-ate-eaten”, and “go-went-gone”. What makes Irregular verbs different is that they don’t follow the conjugate rules just like other verbs.
For this reason, pupils often memorize to remember them and their applications. Evidently, it may be strenuous to keep in view a large number of words. To assist young learners, we here have listed out activities that the instructor may apply anytime in the classroom to ensure they grasp these.
Strategies to learn irregular verbs easier
Comprehending the importance of irregular verbs, here are a few strategies that can work for all learners:
- Activities and games: Turning learning sessions into creative pedagogies with activities is often a good idea. Multiple concepts like tenses and parts of speech are seen to be learned better with this strategy. Accordingly, we have stated a few activities in later lines to enhance the Irregular Verb Skills.
- Group them together: Interestingly, irregular verbs can be grouped based on a few similarities they have. This way, the learner can easily apply them. For instance, the words like cost and set remain the same in all the tenses.
- Use mnemonics: Among multiple strategies one can have, mnemonics is different as it lets the students create a new framework to retain concepts easily. One can create either a sentence or an abbreviation personalized mnemonics to make things easier.
- Analyze with people: While one is practicing any concept, getting it checked with nearby mates creates instant brainstorming about what areas need to be improved. Pupils can analyze with their peers, parents, or even teachers.
- Make a pocket list: The total number of irregular verbs in English are countable. Accordingly, making a list of these on a piece of paper and carrying them in a pocket facilitate quick access for regular revisions at any time.
Activities to learn the identification and use of irregular verbs
To form an added advantage to the pupils who memorize irregular verbs, along with online games, these activities can let them learn better. Here are activities that can help learn, identify, remember, and employ irregular verbs.
1. Irregular verb card game
This activity is useful for reviewing vocabulary and grammar goals. Ask the students to make a set of their verb cards. Verb cards are simple cards with verbs and their meaning clearly defined on them. Each two contains a base verb in one and its past tense in another.
After all the preparations are made, students are divided into three or four groups. Each group plays it with a set of verb cards
- Shuffle the pile of cards and place spread them on the floor facing done
- Ask a pupil to pick one card out of the pile and turn it around to see if it is a base verb or past tense.
- If it is a base verb, they need to pick one more card and find the past tense verb of the same from the arranged cards to win those two cards
- If it is a past tense verb, the pupil needs to pick a base verb from the cards.
- If the student couldn’t find the pair, they need to put back both the cards.
- This cycle continues till all the cards are gained by the students
- The one who picks up the maximum number of cards is the winner. This game lets the student recognize the pair and learn new irregular verbs implicitly as well.
2. Verb-square game
Here all the children in the class can be engaged at a time. Before proceeding further, plot a grid on the board with 20 squares in 5 x 4 format. Number each square from 1 to 20 at the corner of each grid.
- To start with, divide the class into two groups/teams. No, ask one of the team to choose one box and a verb to write in it.
- Write a verb in the box and ask the other team to answer the past tense of this verb.
- If the answer is right, then write the answer in that box below the base verb and give points to that team. Otherwise, erase the verb letting this box be ready for the next chance.
- The game ends when all the 20 boxes are filled. Now, the team with more boxes (points) is the winner.
This activity is a simple yet engaging option for after-school sessions and practices too. Since the students are given the freedom to choose words, they can challenge the other team with new verbs thereby letting all the students learn new words as well.
3. Irregular Bingo
A token game with verbs may be a good idea. Nonetheless, mentors or the students may need to create tickets before starting the game. To start with, Ask the students to make a bingo sheet by plotting a square grid of 9*3 boxes.
- A list of base verbs will be called out to the students just like the numbers in Tombola. The students need to find out if their ticket has the past tense of it the same, if yes, they can strike.
- Students need to check what base verbs are spoken, find the conjugate in the ticket and cross out them.
- Students may call out when they check off one vertical line, and also when all the conjugates are crossed out.
- Using the list, call out the present form of the Verb in a random fashion, one after another. Students can cross the past form that matches. Continue this game until a student yells “Bingo!”.
The game process is often engaging with numbers, employing verbs may make it further intriguing. It can be a good choice for after-class or free period practice.
4. Irregular verb sentence formation
This activity may be useful for elementary and middle schoolers. To start with, Ask your students to open their notebooks and take one page off of that copy.
- Divide the classroom into groups of 2 or 3.
- Now dictate 10 irregular verbs to one group. Once the verbs are ensured, the students will write down their conjugated past tense while using it in a sentence.
- Dictate 10 irregular base verbs to the next group and ask them to do the same.
- Now, let the students in both groups pair up in such a way that a couple will have a base as well as a conjugate of the same word.
- Let this pair come up with a set of 5 sentences as examples with these words in both the tenses.
- Check their copy at the end and count the no. of correct sentences.
The group with maximum correct verb forms and sentences would be the winners. While winning the game is not the central motto here, a sense of competition may assure better performance along with teamwork.
5. Irregular verb tossing
This may be a good take-in for a classroom activity, as it may ensure the active involvement of pupils.
To start with, take a small spongy duster or any object which is safe to throw at each other. Let the game begin.
- Choose an irregular verb and speak the base/ present form in a loud note.
- Call out the name of the student and toss the duster to them.
- The student will take the catch and speak the past verb form. That student will choose another verb form and throw a duster at another classmate. One who will not be able to catch the duster will be considered disqualified for that round and can only participate when someone throws the duster next time.
- Continue as long as you want, or at least each student has spoken thrice. This activity has a fun part, and hence it would be easier for children to learn the irregular verb forms through playing.
6. Pluck the fruit
- The teacher draws a tree with words hanging on it on a piece of paper. These can be nouns, pronouns, verbs, and irregular verbs.
- The student is called upon and is asked to look at this for a couple of minutes
- Now, the teacher starts a timer of say 2 minutes
- Pupils now have to highlight irregular verbs from the set of words and write them down on the answer sheet.
- The more verbs that the pupil plucks, the more points they get.
This activity ensures the little ones identify irregular verbs in the midst of multiple words. Also, to make it challenging, the instructor may ask them to write the conjugate form in the sheets as well.
7. Rewriting the article
For performing this activity, you need to write or fetch an article written in the present tense. Give your students an article that is written in the present format.
- Ask them to rewrite the same article or story in past form. Ensuring to write in past, they may need to use appropriate irregular verbs where needed. For instance, “I’m going to the store now.” would become “I went to the store.”
- After writing the article in past form, hide the article written in the present tense. Tell them to write the article back into the present tense by seeing the past tense article.
- You may encourage them to use irregular verbs frequently. Tell them to use the different verbs to replace one irregular Verb to enhance their vocabulary.
This practice may let the little one comprehend how irregular verbs and their forms are employed in real life.
8. Fill the Story
For this activity, the teacher needs to prepare a story with a few paragraphs with fill-in-the-blanks at the place of the Verb. They may also provide the pupils with a set of irregular verbs to put in the blank to complete the sentence.
- Ask the students to fill the blanks with appropriate verb forms using the correctly conjugated irregular Verb from the list given above in the sheet.
- Now, one student is called upon the stage and is asked to narrate the story in their words, and then list out the irregular verbs used in them.
- The teacher evaluates each student based on their narration and the correct verbs they have used. The student with more points is the winner, also feedback is given to other students about their performance.
Through this activity, students will get versed with narrating skills along with an enhanced grip on communication and oratory skills. Also, while listening to other students’ narrations students can observe and make a note of new verbs and their usage.
9. Choose The Irregular Verb
For doing this activity, you will need a list of verbs (both regular and irregular)
- Dictate your students some random verbs in their notebooks. It could be either regular or irregular. ( You have to dictate in mixed order)
- Now tell them to conjugate their past form and past participle in front of them.
- Once done, ask them to encircle the irregular verbs out of all.
- When identified, ask them to make one sentence from each irregular verb form, present form, past form, and past participle.
10. Sort The Verb
To do this activity, you need to make a variety of irregular and regular verb strips. Place them in a jar or pouch. Once done, draw two columns on the whiteboard—label one as Regular Verb and another as irregular Verb.
- Divide the students into two teams in odd numbers.
- One team member will pull out a verb from the jar.
- One member of each team will analyze the verb and place them under the correct heading.
- The first team to put their Verb under the appropriate column gets the point.
After learning general rules of verbs, traversing through irregular verbs need additional strategies and coaching. It would be a fairer idea to look into some valuable alternatives than memorizing them. When you learn through games and activities, the brain may perceive the information easily and store it in long-term memory. Also by this strategy, learners can better grasp the application and list of irregular verbs.