teaching community banner

Verb Cards for Interactive Practice

Capture 2

A while back, I posted a set of verb cards to use for a variety of different activities. This is a new set that I created that uses actual images instead of clipart. There is a total of 81 different commonly used verbs in English. You can use these cards for an endless number of activities in your class. Keep reading for some examples. 

Verb Cards

Activity Ideas

What are you doing? Beginning present progressive practice. 

I can’t take credit for this one. I got this idea and the talking chart from my colleagues Laura Talley. It’s a great way to get beginning students to practice the present progressive verb tense in an interactive way. It also is great because at the end of the activity, you have something to collect to see how well students are grasping the concept. Below are directions. There are directions on the handout as well.

What are you doing? Talking Chart

  1.  Give every student a verb card.
  2. Print the “What are you doing?” talking chart and give a copy to every student.
  3. Direct them to ask the question “What are you doing?” to different classmates.
  4. Direct them to respond using the verb they have been given and the present progressive.
  5. Ask them to write a sentence about what each of their classmates is doing.


Campfire Stories: Past Tense Practice 

One way you can use these cards to practice the past tense is to have students work together to tell a story about someone.

  1. Put students into groups of 4-5
  2. Give every student 5-10 verb cards.
  3. (Optionally) Give each group a picture of a person to use as the character in their story.
  4. Direct one person to start the story by placing a verb card down and saying the first sentence to a story that happened in the past using the past tense. 
  5. The next person in the circle puts down another verb card and continues the story.
  6. Have each group go around the circle adding to the story by putting down a verb and saying a sentence until everyone has used up all of their verb cards.

Silly Stories: Group Activity 

This activity is similar to the last one. Instead of students telling a story sentence by sentence, students will work together in small groups to write a story using the cards they were given.

Apples to Apples: The Best Action – Should 

Apples to Apples is a great game that can be adapted to so many different topics in ESL. If you’ve never heard of this game, the basic idea is that one person starts by putting down a situation card. Everyone else will need to put down the card that they think works best with the situation card. The original person then chooses their favorite, giving a point to whoever was the owner of chosen card.

These verb cards can easily be used to play Apples to Apples. Simply create some possible situations. I’ve included some as an example if you’re pressed for time. You could also create some that go along with whatever theme or topic you’re working on.

Example Situation Cards

  1. Give each group a stack of situation cards and a stack of verbs.
  2. Deal each player 5-7 verb cards.
  3. One person starts by putting down a situation card.
  4. Everyone else puts down a verb card stating the best action to take using the modal should. For example, you should walk in the park. 
  5. The person who put down the situation card selects his/her favorite suggestion.
  6. The person who gave the suggestion gets to keep the situation card as a point.
  7. Everyone but the person who put down the situation card draws a new verb card at the end of every round.
  8. The next person in the group puts down a situation card, etc.


If you found these resources useful, please share. Also, if you come up with other great ways to use these verb cards, leave a comment below.

What are you doing




1 responses on "Verb Cards for Interactive Practice"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Connect with Us

Who’s Online

There are no users currently online
TESOLPlanner Copyright 2018 Jessica Aggrey
%d bloggers like this: