The beginning of the semester often starts with verbs, which necessarily includes making sure intermediate students know a good number of regular and irregular verb forms. The challenge for teachers is that some students come into an intermediate class knowing all the target forms, while others may only know a few.

The following downloadable activity is useful for getting everyone on the same page by helping them to review forms they know and target the ones they need to study.  I often use it before starting a lesson on perfect tenses as a way to lay some groundwork before getting into the trickier meaning-based elements of the form.

Students begin by filling in a chart with all the forms they know, highlighting the ones that they don’t, and then helping each other practice.  When it goes well, the students are basically creating their own materials tailored to their needs.

The first part of the activity can act as a warm-up, and the second part comes after a short mini-lesson on the present perfect as a way to connect the past to the present with commonly used time markers, e.g., today, this week, this month, this fall/spring, this year.


Download the activity to this article.