Teaching Past, Present, and Future Verbs!

The developers of "Birds on a Wire" and "Slam Dunk Grammar" apps, Electrokite, has done it again!  They have an app that helps students identify and understand the difference between past, present, and future tense verbs!  Introducing, Cosmic Bowling!

This app follows the same layout as their other apps since they were developed orginally for an interactive white board.
Students are provided with a visual and introduction of the different verb forms.  You can get to this by clicking the "light bulb" icon.

By clicking the "game controller" you will be brought to the drilling game.

Just as the title suggests, this app has a bowling theme.  Students are presented with a sentence with a verb form included  They must select the correct bowling bowl and put it on the "target."  If incorrect, they are prompted and are allowed to try again.  If correct, they are rewarded by watching the bowling ball roll down the lane and hit the pins!  Go to the next sentence by hitting the arrows.  Since this app was created originally for a white board, you can always click the "pencil" and underline the verb for the student, write hints, or keep score.

If you click the "paint":

This provides students will an opportunity to use the verbs independently (or with models and prompts).  They are given verbs along the top and lines.  They can write the sentences they develop.  The bottom has "blank tiles" where you can write words of your own for them to use.  Other suggestions, you can write cloze sentences for them and have the student fill it in with the correct form of the words in the "word bank." 

At all times, if the students require prompting, you can click the "key" icon and they will be presented with a hint!
This is great for teaching students to ask for assistance and recognize the benefits of visual cues. 

Things I like about this app:
  • motivating theme
  • easy to use
  • visuals
  • opportunity to address receptive and expressive
  • many opportunities to drill this difficult skill that is very important for students to understand
  • relates to common core standards
Things I would like to see in future updates:
  • multiplayer options
  • score keeping
  • a way to see how many sentences were used and how many more are left (to help with planning)
Electrokite was extremely generous and provided me with 5 codes of this great app to giveaway!!  Enter to win below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love to have non-iPad activities that go along with all of my apps.  I created a fun download that works on this same skill.

What does this download include?  It has sorting cards for students to sort the various verbs into the different forms.  Can they identify the endings or how they are used? 

Once understood, it is time to play and practice!!
Students play this game by drawing a card and reading the cloze sentence.  Can they identify which form from the choices can complete the sentence.  Can they explain why?  Watch out for the gators!  If drawn, they must give back their cards!

As you know, I love to provide a review worksheet in all my download packs.  It helps with creating follow-up homework or an "exit slip" to assess understanding at the end of a session.
You can access this download here!


  1. We take verb cards from a Cat in the Hat hat and practice using the correct tense in sentences.

  2. I use action cards out of a vocabulary deck, and then say, "today he is riding his bike, but yesterday...." the typical response I get is he DID ride his bike, as opposed to rode. Anyone have suggestions for that?! I also found a great activity from crazyspeechworld called verb shaker, the kids love it!

    1. Do you start by talking about what the difference between past and present is and then give an example? I've worked with ELL and at the beginning, I would often get the same response you get. After a couple of examples of what I wanted and a couple explanations, the students seemed to get the concept and we were able to work on regular and irregular past tense in sentences.

      Another problem I ran into is the students didn't know regular or irregular past tense and I had to start by only teaching regular past tense with the "we add '-ed' to words that already happened" discussion (every time they gave an incorrect answer) and then only irregular "remember the '-ed' words? These words don't do that" and then mixing them together.

      Talking With Rebecca

    2. It is definitely important for students to first recognize when hearing/seeing the verb tenses to recognized the form. I like to use sorting and identifying activities.

      I then like to focus on the most commonly used verbs first. I will drill, read stories that have those words, and encourage students to use them in conversation. The most they are bombarded with it, the better!

  3. With my upper elementary students I frequently "Horse" the basketball game. I show them the verb card. They are required to use it in a sentence using the correct form we are working on. When they use it correctly in a sentence they are given the nerf basketball and allowed to take their shot. They love it!

  4. I LOVE teaching verbs. In terms of teaching tense, I often use photographs of silly things, (I have a few good ones from Colorcards Prepositions). I will start by talking about what the individual IS doing then talk about hot they got there (to elicit past tense) and what will happen next (for future). My other cue is to use sequencing cards or video sets, great for 'show me 'he WILL paint the fence'' or 'he painted the fence'.

  5. I teach in real time. We do various gross motor activities and take turns commenting on what we will do, are doing and just did. The children comment on each other.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway! I have multiple kids I could use this app with!

  7. For each student I make a three-block chart on legal size paper. The students then draw pictures representing something they did as a baby, something they do now, and something they will do in the future. They write sentences using past, present, future tense to go with the pictures. Parents always like seeing what the kids think they will do in the future, as well as, seeing what they think they did as a baby.

  8. With my younger students, I like to act them out and have each student say what they or their friend did.

  9. I have been using flashcards because most of my students are working on creating a sentence using a past, present or irregular verb.

  10. Since I am a new assistant with not too many materials, I teach verbs by using many of the freebies here and on the internet. I also use some super duper cards. This app would be a wonderful addition. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  11. I have students sort flashcards into past, present and future. Then they select cards to make sentences about. I also use picture scenes to elicit what the person is doing in the picture and then have them inference what might happen next (future) and/or what might have been the cause (gets at past tense and cause and effect)of his/her current action. This app looks like it would be a great addition to my therapy. Thanks for chance to win:)

  12. I have the students act out the verbs and I also use a verb board game from Super Duper.

  13. I use some "time" cards for past/present/future then verb cards. I use this to teach the concept and then to play games with. I love the idea of this app and can't wait to print out the alligator verbs. Going to use it tomorrow!

  14. When at all possible, I like to use picture of the actual client doing various things. Sometimes, parents will bring in pictures of a favorite vacation. That way, we can talk about what they did/saw/liked while they were there (past tense) and what they will do next time they go( future tense)!
    Let's Talk Speech Therapy

  15. My son is five so right now we use discussion of events first focusing on present tense, then we move to past tense and talk about things he did in the past finally we move on to future tense and discuss what he will be doing in the near future. He is starting to get the concept and uses the correct tense now roughly 35% of the time.

  16. I have frequently taken pictures of my students in action and made verb books about them.

  17. We act things out. To talk past tense, we take pictures and review what we did during previous sessions.


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