Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3


Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3 introduces students to past, present, and future tenses and the difference between regular verbs and irregular verbs. Students will learn how to conjugate both types of verbs.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to print out the regular and irregular verb lists and make copies for each student so they can review them when they need to.

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What our Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3 lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3 teaches students how to identify and correctly use verbs in the past, present, and future tenses. Students will discover helping verbs and learn how to use them. They will also learn the difference between regular and irregular verbs and how to write them correctly. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you will need for this lesson are the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One optional addition to this lesson is to print out the regular and irregular verb lists and make copies for each student so they can review them when they need to. Another option is to assign students to write additional sentences using the verbs on the list. For more advanced students, you can add content related to using the same tense when writing stories.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Verb Tenses

The Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3 lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson opens with three sentences that tell about action taking place in three different times (today, yesterday, and tomorrow). In each, the only words that change are the verbs. Verbs are action words that describe the actions of the subject or a state of being.

We have three basic types of verbs: present tense (when the action takes place now or today), past tense (when the action took place yesterday, last week, or before now), and future tense (when the action will take place tomorrow, later, or on another day).

When an action takes place in the present, the verb either stays the same or you add an -s to the end of the verb (like walks). When an action takes place in the past, you add an -ed to the end of the verb (like walked). And when an action will take place in the future, you add the helping verb will before the verb (like will walk).

We change regular verbs by adding -s or -ed to the end of the verb. The lesson includes a chart that lists different verbs in the present, past, and future tenses.

The lesson then lists five sentences that use different forms of the verb eat: eats, ate, will eat, has eaten, and will have eaten. Eat is an irregular verb, so you do not add -d or -ed to the end and you do change the verb form. As you can see from this example, we often use helping verbs with future and past tense verbs. You can also see this with the verb run: run, ran, will run, have run, and will have run.

The lesson then lists some helping verbs, which we use with verbs to tell about present, past, or future actions or states of being. We can use helping verbs alone, with action verbs, or with other helping verbs. Some helping verbs include am, is, are, was, were, and being. The lesson lists many more for students to review.

There are thousands of action verbs in the English language that can be in present, past, or future tense. You can add a -d or -ed to a regular verb or change the form of an irregular verb. You can also use helping verbs with action verbs. The lesson includes a chart of irregular verbs in the present and past tenses and with a helping verb.

Make sure to practice using different verbs. This is the best way to learn how to use them correctly in your reading and writing.


The Verb Tenses – Grades 1-3 lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity, students will write sentences that match pictures on the worksheet. They will need to write three sentences per pictures: one in present tense, one in past tense, and one in future tense. The classroom procedure page mentions pairing students up for the activity. However, you can have students work alone or in groups if you prefer.


The practice worksheet divides into two parts. The first part requires students to circle verbs in a sentence and then circle whether it is in present, past, or future tense. There are 20 total sentences here. For the second part, students must fill in the blank with the correct word. There are six sentences and six words to use in the sentences.


The homework assignment also has two sections. The first section requires students to circle the correct verb out of two options in 10 sentences. On the second section, students must write a sentence using the verbs listed. There are 10 sentences in this section.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the activity worksheet, the practice worksheet, and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1.C, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1.E, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1.D, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.A, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.D, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.F

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.