Irregular verbs are the most important and at the same time for many students the most difficult part of learning English. These verbs are very common and if students learn them, their English improves radically. But they have to learn them! Therefore, any activity that makes the learning easier and more fun is welcome.
Recently Svetlana Kandybovich published a great game to help children learn irregular verbs. Reading the post I realised that I have been using three games that other teachers might want to use. And thus, I decided to share them.
[showmyads] In this post, there are three games to make the learning of irregular verbs more enjoyable. The first game is crosses and noughts, the second is called Sprint and the third one is Ski Jump.
Irregular verbs games – Crosses and Noughts
Read the list of the irregular verbs with the students to ensure that they pronounce the verbs correctly. Then give them about five minutes to work on their own and learn the irregular verbs from the list.
Five minutes later, ask the students to work in pairs and go through the grid line by line and say the past tense and past participle of the verbs. Stop them after three minutes and tell them to turn the cards with the verbs face down.
Now they play crosses and noughts. The rules are simple. Players take turns, and they draw a cross or a nought (one player draws one symbol all the time). Their aim is to have five symbols in a row. If they achieve this, they win. In this game, however, they can draw their symbol only if they say the past tense and past participle of the verb in the square. If they fail to do this, they have to play somewhere else.
Let the students play for four minutes. If they finish earlier, tell them to play on the other sheet.
Once they finish, students turn the cards with the verbs face up, and take a pen or pencil. Now, they have four minutes to fill in as many columns as possible with the past tenses and past participles of the verbs given. They must not skip any square. If they do not know the verbs, they can have a look at their cards.
Irregular verbs games – Sprint
Now students choose one line each. One starts from the right side and the other from the left. When you say START, students have to say the past tense and past participle of all the verbs on their line. They must not skip any. Their aim is to be quicker than their partner. The winner is the student who gets to the end of their line first. If they do not know any of the verbs, they can have a look into the card.
It is a bit noisy, but it is fun.
Irregular verbs games – Ski Jump
Then ask other students to do the same. Reward the winner.
In my experience, the best are able to get over about 100 points.
All the pedagogy books tell you that pictures are much more memorable than words. There is even this saying “A picture is worth thousand words”. So why don’t we use this fact and use pictures for teaching for example irregular verbs?
Unfortunately, things are not that easy. In fact, the research shows that it is more difficult to learn from a pictionary than from a simple word list. However, the research as well showed that pictures can help you remember the words if they are used as a support.
In this post I come up with an original way of presenting irregular verbs in English using pictures. It is not a pictionary, but the pictures just serve as a way of supporting your memory in remembering the past tense and the past participle. Moreover, there are two games, a worksheet and an online quiz to practise what the students learn.
Irregular verbs in pictures – infographic
Put simply, the pictures do not represent the irregular verbs, they rhyme with them.
Check the rhymes with the students and ask them to memorise them for two minutes. Then hand out the second page from the file and ask them to complete the tables with past tense and past participle of the verbs.
The last page of the hand out contains two simple exercises: In the first one students should complete the table and in the second, they use the past tenses of the verbs from the table and complete the sentences.
Irregular verbs in pictures – games
As the game is in Flash, it will only play on desktop computers.
The second game is in Flash and will play only on desktop computers. It is called On Target, and your task is to choose the correct option and then shoot all the bad cows and ducks. You can shoot one of the bottles on the wall to get a bonus. Enjoy.
The following quiz can help your students practise the irregular verbs either at school or at home. In the quiz you have to choose the correct verb for each sentence. The students will be rewarded with a game if they pass. The quiz is in HTML5, so it will play on all desktops and mobile devices.
Irregular verbs in pictures – lesson plan
Irregular verbs – links
Here is a great video on irregular verbs by my friend Fluency MC.
I have already tried teaching irregular verbs in many ways. I have tried irregular verbs associative method, irregular verbs listening drill, irregular verbs in context and many others. However, the results were not very good. Only about half of the students know the verbs.
That is why in my next four posts I would like to present 100 irregular verbs straightforward. I will provide the pronunciation of all the verbs and several simple activities for students to practice the verbs. No miracle cure, only hard work.
Irregular verbs – video
First, watch the video and repeat the words. At the end you can stop the video or play the game and guess the verb the man is drawing. If you guess the verb you have to supply the past tense and the past participle of the verb.
The second half of the verbs is presented in the following video:
Irregular verbs – worksheets
The first worksheet contains all the verbs in a table.
Then there are two worksheets containing activities to practice the irregular verbs from the two videos. The activities for the first video are here:
Irregular verbs – quizzes
The first two quizzes test the knowledge of the first thirteen verbs presented in the first video. The first test is in HTML5 so you can play it on your mobile device. If you pass the quiz you can play a game at the end.
Then you can try the following crossword and wordsearch. Once again both of them are in HTML 5 so they will play anywhere. Again write both the past tense and past participle:
You can practise irregular verbs in the following app. Choose the set or sets of irregular verbs, you want to practise and then choose how you want to practise them:
The next games concentrate on the irregular verbs presented in the second video. Once again there are four different activities to help you remember all the irregular verbs. The first one is a simple HTML5 quiz:
Then there are a crossword and a wordsearch. Remember to write both the past tense and the past participle: