Verbs and Tenses


With our Verbs and Tenses lesson plan, students learn how to use and identify different verbs and verb tenses, including the past, present, and future.

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 give students a list of past, present, and future verbs, and have them write sentences for the verbs.

Buy Now For $1.95


What our Verbs and Tenses lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Verbs and Tenses teaches students how to properly use different verbs and verb tenses in their writing. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to correctly use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future. This lesson is for students in 1st 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 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 adjustment to the lesson activity is to create groups of students and assign a tense to each group to complete the paragraphs. One optional addition to the lesson is to have students to identify past, present, and future verb tenses in current reading content, such as stories. You can also give students a list of past, present, and future verbs, and have them write sentences for the verbs. Finally, you can conduct a “Verb Tense Bee” where you give students a verb and a tense and have them use them correctly in a sentence.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It notes that you might want to teach this lesson in conjunction with other lessons related to verbs. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Verbs and Tenses

The Verbs and Tenses lesson plan includes four pages of content. Students already know that we use verbs for actions, like the words walk, run, sleep and eat. People can do actions at different times. Actions can happen in the past, present, or future.

The past is yesterday, last week, a few minutes ago, or a hundred years ago. The present is today, now, at this exact moment. The future is tomorrow, a few days or minutes from now, next week, next month, or a hundred years from now.

We need to know when an action takes place, because we need to use the correct tense to use it in a sentence or when speaking. The tenses included past, present, and future.

We can show the different tenses using the commonly used verb walking. Yesterday, Eva walked home. Today, Eva walks home. Tomorrow, Eva will walk home.

The first sentence is past tense, the second is present, and the third is future. In the past tense, we added an -ed to the word.  In the present tense, we add an -s. And in the future, we add the helping verb will to the sentence before the word walk.

We must use the correct verb tense for each action. The way that we form the different tenses can also change. For example, you do not always add an -s in the present tense.

The lesson then lists some examples of verbs used in the past, present, and future tenses. One of these examples is: I jumped rope this morning (past). Now, I jump rope (present). I will jump rope later (future).

Sometimes, you need to add words to form a new tense, like with ate (past), eat (present), and will eat (future). Most past tense verbs need an -ed or -d, present tense verbs stay the same or need an -s, and future tense verbs need a helping verb like will.

Using the Correct Verb Tenses

Before you use action verbs and verb tenses, you need to determine if the action happened in the past, present, or future. You can then choose the right verb tense and verb.

For example, if you’re telling your parents a story about something that happened at school, you’ll use past tense verbs because the action has already happened. You might use some of the following sentences to describe your day: I walked to school with Tyler. Tyler laughed at all my jokes. We had fun as we walked to school.

If you told someone about actions taking place in the present, you might say: I take a math test. I eat lunch. I play outside with my friends during recess.

If you’re reading about things that might happen in the future, you might read:Later, Nathan will eat a snack. Next, he will watch some television and will do his homework. His father will arrive home, and he will catch some baseball with Nathan.

If you’re only speaking or writing about the past, you should only use past tense verbs. If you’re only speaking or writing about the future, you should only use future tense verse. However, you often speak or write in multiple tenses at once. You must make sure that the sentences still make sense! For example, you might write: John woke late this morning. He wanted to get extra sleep, because he will play a soccer game later.

It’s important to remember to think about when the action takes place and choose the correct verb tense. You should also make sure to use the correct verb ending or use a different verb to make sure the action and tense match.


The Verbs and Tenses 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.


Students will work with a partner to complete the activity worksheet. Each pair will imagine that they’re at a birthday party and will write three paragraphs describing the party. They will write each paragraph using a different verb tense: past, present, and future.

Students can also work either alone or in groups to complete this activity.


The practice worksheet asks students to read sentences, circle the verbs, and tell whether each verb is used in the past, present, or future tense. They will also use a word from the provided word bank to fill in the blanks in sentences.


For the homework assignment, students will complete three short exercises. First, they will write sentences using each of the listed words and verb tenses. Next, they will review the list of words and will write past, present, or future next to each. Finally, they will use their own verbs and write sentences for each verb tense.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for 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


Language Arts

State Educational Standards


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.