Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation Packing

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The Gaming Grammarian
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35 pages
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I, like all English language teachers, spend a lot of time on irregular past tense verbs. Conversely, I’ve generally spent very little time on regular past tense verbs. This wasn’t a huge problem, until I started paying closer attention to my students’ pronunciation of them. Learning how to properly pronounce the ending of regular past tense verbs takes time and practice. This game allows students to practice forming regular past tense verbs and pronouncing them. (For the purposes of this game, I am considering all verbs needing either a –d or –ed added to the end as regular. Some would also require changing a y to an i or doubling a consonant, but writing the verbs is not the focus of this game.) Depending on which set of cards you choose to use, it can also provide practice in identifying the main verb in the sentence (one set of cards has the verb underlined, a second set is included on which the verb is not underlined).

Get all of the details in this blog post.

This download includes everything students need to play the game:

-a sorting “suitcase” for students to “pack” the irregular verbs into the correct section (you’ll need to print one for every student)

-sentence cards for sorting into the “suitcases”: There are two types of sentence cards. One set has the main verb underlined to help students quickly find it. The other does not have the verb underlined, requiring students to first identify the main verb and then change it into the past tense. Please note, while the game pieces are themed around travel, the sentences are not necessarily travel themed. There are 288 sentence cards included, each with a different verb. This means the game can be played multiple times without students memorizing the answers, but it also means there are far too many sentences for them all to be about travel. (you’ll need to print one set for each group of 2-4 students)

-Lost Luggage cards: These cards add an extra challenge to the game and are optional. You can choose how many to include in each card set. I recommend adjusting the number based on the proficiency of students: higher proficiency students are given more lost luggage cards per set. Typically, I’ll include 4-6 cards per group. (the number of these required will vary based on your choice, printing one page generally gives me enough for 4-6 groups)

-an answer key, organized in alphabetical order by present tense form, for students to check their conjugation and pronunciation (you’ll need one per group; I print these on regular paper and staple them)

Game preparation:

Print and laminate all of the different components. You’ll need one sorting “suitcase” for each student, one set of sentence cards for each group of 2-4 students, one answer key for each group, and how ever many lost luggage cards you decide to use for each group. Cut the cards apart and mix them up. I recommend printing card sets on different colors of cardstock to help with returning lost cards to the correct set after class.

Game setup:

1. Give each player a sorting “suitcase.”

2. Mix the sentence and any lost luggage cards you are using together and place them in a pile in the center of the group. Alternatively, these cards can be placed in some type of container (cylindrical oatmeal containers work well—I simply dust them out and spray paint the outside a solid color).

Game play:

Goal: Be the first player to fill your sorting “suitcase” by collecting three of each type of –ed pronunciation: /d/, /t/, /id/.

1. The first player draws a card. He/she identifies the verb and converts it from present to past. He/she then places the card into the correct section of his/her “suitcase” based on the pronunciation of –ed. If the player’s placement is correct, the card remains in the suitcase and his/her turn is over. If the player’s placement is not correct, the card is removed from the suitcase and discarded.

2. The second player then draws a card and follows the same procedure.

3. The first player to fill his/her suitcase with 9 sentence cards (3 for each pronunciation) is the winner.

Game play notes:

1. If a Lost Luggage card is drawn, all of the cards in that player’s “suitcase” are discarded along with the Lost Luggage card.

2. If a player draws a card and finds the corresponding section of his/her suitcase is already full, the card is discarded.

3. If the cards in the draw pile run out, mix up the discard pile and refill the draw pile.

For more practice with the pronunciation of the regular past tense -d/-ed ending, see these free games:

Fishing for Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation

Regular Past Tense -d/-ed Ending Pronunciation Spoons Game

Total Pages
35 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


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