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Tenses of Verbs

Subject Area: Language Arts

Grade Level(s): 6

Duration of Activity: 2 Days

Description of Activity:

The students will demonstrate an understanding of present, past, and future verb tenses through independent practice and by using these verbs in sentences to describe appropriate student-selected clip art.


  • The students will identify present, past, and future tenses of regular verbs and select appropriate clip art to illustrate the verbs.
  • The students will compose and key into word-processing documents sentences using present, past, and future tense verbs to describe selected clip art.


  • Language Arts textbook
  • Handout 1: Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation—Tenses of Verbs (Download the file and print out handouts for the students. This presentation was created using Microsoft Word XP.)
  • Computer with large-screen monitor, NetTV, or projection system
  • Microsoft Works or other word processing software
  • Printer
  • Computers with word-processing software
  • Handout 2: How to Insert Clip Art Using Microsoft Works
  • Handout 3: Illustrated Verb Tenses
  • Handout 4: Color-Coded Verbs—Illustrating Present, Past, and Future Tenses

Prerequisites (skills or background needed):

  • Basic understanding of the definition of verbs
  • Basic word-processing skills using Microsoft Works or other word-processing software


Teacher Component: The teacher will

  1. introduce verb tense and provide examples using Handout 1: Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation—Tenses of Verbs.
  2. complete guided practice with students using class textbook.
  3. assign independent practice activities from class textbook.
  4. distribute Handout 2: How to Insert Clip Art Using Microsoft Works to provide written instruction on inserting clip art and text into a word-processing document.
  5. assign action verbs that students will illustrate with clipart examples.
  6. allow students to search Microsoft Clip Art Gallery for appropriate clip art to illustrate their assigned verbs.
  7. instruct the students to write three sentences using the assigned action verbs in present, past, and future tenses using Handout 3: Illustrated Verb Tenses.
  8. illustrate how to color code the action verbs using Handout 4: Color-Coded Verbs to distinguish among present, past, and future tenses.
  9. display each student’s verb projects to share with other students.

Student Activities: The student will

  1. complete guided practice with teacher and classmates.
  2. complete independent practice activities from class textbook.
  3. search Microsoft Clip Art Gallery for appropriate clip art that will illustrate each assigned verb.
  4. insert clip art by applying the directions from Handout 2: How to Insert Clip Art Using Microsoft Works.
  5. compose sentences and key them under the clip art to illustrate each verb in present, past and future tense using as an example Handout 3: Illustrated Verb Tense.
  6. color code the action verbs using Handout 4: Color Coded Verbs to distinguish between present, past, and future tense.


  • Students may work in small groups if enough computers are not available for independent work.
  • Peer tutoring by students who complete their work may be allowed in order to assist those who may have difficulty with the assignment.

Extension Activities:

  • A booklet can be created by printing out and using students’ examples of the different verb tenses used in their sentence.
  • A class project could be created by putting the students’ word-processing examples into presentation software. This presentation could be used for review purposes or to show the students’ work to others.
  • The class could visit the A. Word A. Day Web site and look for unusual verbs. It is also possible to sign up to receive daily e-mail from this site’s creator.
  • The students could set up a database or spreadsheet showing verbs and their forms in the various tenses. Tenses could be added as the students study them throughout the school year.


  • Language Arts
  • Technology


  1. The teacher will assess the independent practice done by each student.
  2. The teacher will assess the student’s work based on the correct relationship of clip art and sentences.
  3. The teacher will assess the student’s work based on the correct color-coding of verb tense.


Curriculum Frameworks


Sixth Grade

  1. Develop self-monitoring skills to work independently and cooperatively. (R, W, S, L, V)
  2. Demonstrate continuous progress toward control of penmanship, grammar, mechanics, sentence structure, and usage of standard English in the context of writing and speaking. (R,W,S,L,V)
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of grammar and usage, including, but not limited to, parts of speech, all punctuation marks, capitalization, verb tense, subject-verb agreement, subordination, pronoun reference, participle and gerund phrases, and basic sentence elements.
    2. Apply correct grammar in speaking, writing, and reading.
    3. Use correct sentence structure in speaking, writing, and editing/proofreading.

  3. Acquire and use appropriate vocabulary and spelling concepts. (R, W, S, L, V)
    1. Use standardized spelling while completing a writing process.
    2. Use appropriate vocabulary for specific situations, purposes, and audiences.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems. (5, 6)


06 Introduction to Print (Level 10-12)
Demonstrate knowledge of sound/symbol and structural relationships in letters, words, and signs.

Write responses that show knowledge of letters and words.

07 Sentence Structure (Level 11-21/22)
Demonstrate an understanding of conventions for writing complete and effective sentences, including treatment of subject and verb, punctuation, and capitalization.

Demonstrate an understanding of conciseness and clarity of meaning in combining two sentences.

09 Editing Skills (Level 11-21/22)
Identify the appropriate use of capitalization, punctuation, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in existing text.

Demonstrate knowledge of writing conventions and sentence structure through identifying and connecting errors in existing text and in text written by the student.

Link and Feedback to Author(s):

Christine Russell, Hunter Middle School, Drew, MS

Handout 1:
Tenses of Verbs
Download the PowerPoint file and print out handouts 3 or 6 slides per page.
Handout 2:
How to Insert Clipart Using Microsoft Works
Word Acrobat
Handout 3:
Illustrated Verb Tenses
Word Acrobat
Handout 4:
Color-Coded Verbs
Word Acrobat
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