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Contextualized Verb Practice

By Jessica Aggrey

Last week, I wanted to get my students to review some verb tenses that we had worked on this semester. I also wanted to do it in a way that was contextualized instead of them working on conjugating verbs on a worksheet. I created an activity that students seemed to enjoy. I got the idea from a presentation on teaching grammar from a Dr. Lyn Neylon-Craft from Cuyamaca college. Grammar courses at Cuyamaca are taught in companion with the core reading/writing course, and all the grammar lessons directly relate to what’s being read in the other course.

I created an activity that gets students to read a scenario and then write sentences related to that scenario. If your students are working on a particular theme or reading a particular book, I would recommend changing the scenario to relate to what’s being worked on and talked about in class. After reading the scenario, students are then asked to write what they think happened before (past tense), what’s happening right now in the scenario (present progressive), and what they think will happen next (future tense). Students get to be creative with how they interpret the scenario and come up with their own ideas about it. The questions and scenarios can be changed to practice different tenses and modals. For example, I also created one using a dilemma that gets students to practice the modal should. Students must decide what the person in the dilemma should do. Along with practicing grammar, students get a chance to share their ideas about what to do in the situation, which is sure to spark a lot of discussion.

After students write their sentences, have them write some of them on the board. Go over them as a class and provide grammar tips and instruction as needed. End the lesson by having students get into a discussion line and sharing what they wrote with their partner, rotating several times to give students a chance to talk with multiple partners.

>Access Handout in Google Docs<< 

>>Access as PDF<<

>>>Extra handout to practice present progressive and past<<

Lesson Sequence

  1. Have students complete the handout alone or in pairs
  2. Have each student or group write one or two sentences for each verb tense on the board
  3. Go over these as a class and correct mistakes and provide information and instruction as needed
  4. Give students some time in groups to review their whole handout for any mistakes
  5. Put students into a discussion line and have them read their sentences to each partner

Document Preview 

Verb Tense Practice


Should for advice


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