Baylee Hibshman, Kelly McKee, and Kristin Hitch Lesson Plan Irregular Past Tense Verbs

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Required Materials

  • Irregular Past Tense Verbs worksheet (attached)

  • Past Tense Irregular Verb List (attached)

  • “Pompeii” by Bastille lyrics (attached)

  • Whiteboard

  • Computer with speaker

  • Internet access


  • Introduction to the lesson (should take around 10 minutes)

    • Once the students arrive, review regular past tense verbs.

      • Put 5 regular present tense verbs conjugated with the subject “I” on the whiteboard

        • Some options could be the following:

            • I walk (answer: I walked)

            • I talk (answer: I talked)

            • I laugh (answer: I laughed)

            • I smile (answer: I smiled)

            • I look (answer: I looked)

      • Ask for volunteers to come write the past tense form on the board.

      • Correct any mistakes

          • I swim (answer: I swam)

          • I drink (answer: I drank)

          • I eat (answer: I ate)

          • I drive (answer: I drove)

          • I run (answer: I ran)

      • Ask the class as a whole to come up with the past tense form.  (They will most likely be wrong, use this to introduce today’s lesson)

      • Correctly conjugate the verbs into past tense

  • Teaching the Lesson (should take around 15-20 minutes)

    • Explain to the students that not all past tense verbs conjugate the same way. Tell the students that for irregular verbs, there is not a specific rule to make them past tense.

    • Pass out the attached list with the title - “Past Tense Irregular Verbs List”

    • Go over each of the verbs on the list by saying each one aloud and having the students repeat the word back to you. You may want to review the meaning of each word.

    • Give examples of how these verbs are used in a sentence. (Example: I drank water yesterday.)

    • Have a few students volunteer to try and use the irregular past tense verbs in a sentence. They can choose one from the list and make their own sentence (spoken or written on the board).

    • Tell the students again that there are no specific rules for past tense irregulars, and it will be important for them to memorize the list that was passed out at the beginning of the lesson.

    • Answer any questions the students may have about the lesson.

  • Supplemental Instruction/ Assessment (should take around 10 minutes)

    • Pass out the lyrics to the song Pompeii by Bastille. (Lyrics can be found in attached worksheet “Pompeii.”)

    • Tell the students that this a popular song in the United States with many past tense verbs.  (Optional: You could use this to integrate a small lesson on pop-culture and music in America, see reference materials for examples)

    • Tell them that as the song plays, they should underline any verbs that they think are past tense irregular and circle any past tense regular verbs.

    • Play the song on computer with speaker.  (Optional:  If you do not want to solely play the music, you can show the music video as well.  Link to video:

    • Collect the lyrics from each student (Optional: You may choose whether or not to grade this; it can be graded for completion or for accuracy.)

    • Pass out homework before students leave class. (Worksheet - “Irregular Past Tense Verbs)

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