Irregular Verbs Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Are you teaching verbs to students? This lesson plan uses an informational text to review verbs and verb tense, then teach about irregular verbs. Students will read the text lesson, practice applying content, and then play a fun game for reinforcement.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'regular verb' and 'irregular verb'
  • use regular and irregular verbs correctly in speech and writing
  • demonstrate understanding of verb tense


1 hour


Key Vocabulary

  • Verb tense
  • Regular verb
  • Irregular verb

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.a

Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.d

Form and use regular and irregular verbs.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.5

Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.


  • Engage students with the topic by giving each student a regular verb slip of paper and asking them to find their partner. For example, 'jump' will partner with 'jumped.'
  • Once all students have located partners, ask them to discuss the connection to their partner. In other words, what is the relationship between the two words?
  • Listen in to conversations to gather information for the upcoming discussion. Ask questions of the whole class to guide them to understanding of regular verb pairs, or reinforce concepts if most students understand by asking them to share their thinking.
  • Tell students that not all verbs have regular past-tense pairings. Allow partners to brainstorm examples and share, then distribute copies of the lesson Irregular Verbs in English: Definition & Examples.
  • Allow students to preview the text, using text features such as keywords, bullet lists, and subheadings to predict content.
  • Now read the first section 'Verbs' with students. Write the definition for verbs on chart paper, then ask:
    • Why do we change the structure of verbs depending on how they are used?
    • How does verb structure change?
  • Read the section 'Verb Tense' with students. Define 'regular verb,' then instruct students to make a chart in their notebooks with the sections 'Past Tense' and 'Present Tense.' Duplicate on the board.
  • Work with students to put the verbs from the lesson into the 'Past' column, then guide them to find present tense of these verbs. Allow them to do one or two on their own, and have students come write the words on the class chart to maintain engagement.
  • Ask:
    • What do you notice about all the past tense verbs?
    • Do all past-tense verbs end in 'ed?'
  • Next read the section 'Irregular Verbs' with students. Define the term, then place the irregular verb pairs from the lesson in your chart with students, working with them to determine placement. Use sentences to guide students, such as 'The cat IS on the fence' and 'The cat WAS on the fence.'
  • When finished, discuss:
    • What do you notice about the past tense for irregular verbs?
    • How will you know which verbs are regular and which are irregular?
    • What are some strategies you can use to help guide in determining regular or irregular verbs?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' together, then allow students to ask any remaining questions.
  • Take the lesson quiz as a whole group to determine student understanding. Allow students to answer using white boards or a hand signal, and re-teach if necessary.

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