Lesson Plan

No Tension with Verb Tenses

Learning about Past, Present, and Future Tense Verbs in Grade 3
Ruth O.
Technology coordinator
Victory Elementary School
Portsmouth, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses. (CC L3.1e)
  • Edit writing for correct grammar using past and present verb tense (Virginia SOL 3.10d)


English Language Arts
Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Teacher Prep

The teacher should become familiar with the standard, including common misconceptions that students may have.  Watching the lesson commentary provided by LearnZillion will be helpful. 

2 Hook

Activity: Other — Word Sort

As a whole group, facilitate a word sort using simple past and present verbs.  Lead the students in a discussion so that they can find the pattern in the words.

If the teacher doesn't have a set of words to sort, there are a few free lists on the internet...you can do an internet search to find them. 

3 Direct Instruction

LearnZillion has a premade lesson for "using and forming simple verb tenses".  Depending on what is available in your school you can use a projector to show the lesson to the whole class, assign the lesson for students to complete during center time in the classroom or take the class to the computer lab for them to complete the lesson as assigned.

4 Guided practice

Activity: Other — Infinite Learning Lab

Infinite Learning Lab has a guided lesson on verb tenses.  Depending on your students and the equipment available in your building, you may want to facilitate the lesson for the whole group, or assign the activity for individual students to complete in the computer lab or during center time.

5 Independent Practice


Students should be assigned lesson 1.1e "Use Verbs to Convey a Sense of Past, Present, and Future"  to complete.  These three brief activities allow students to practice editing online.

6 Wrap Up

Provide students with a variety of fill-in-the-blank paragraphs with missing verbs that imply past, present, and future tenses. Instruct them to use the Whiteboard app or the website to complete read and explain each sentance.  

Label each blank with the tense of the verb needed (see example below). You can encourage the students to create silly scenarios. After they have completed the assignment, review the videos to ensure the students understand how to use verb tenses.

Marci __(present tense)__ to watch other people __(present tense)__. Last year, she __(past
tense)__ until one day she __(past tense)__. Since then, she refuses to __(present tense)__. Her
older brother __(present tense)__ to get Marci to __(present tense)__ again, so he made a plan.
He __(future tense)__ her until she __(future tense)__ again.