Learning Past Tense

Past tense is a tricky concept to learn for some children. You can use supportive visuals such as the one below to help orient your child:

For younger children it may make more sense to talk about yesterday as a number e.g., “Two days ago…

Have the children look at the verb pictures and choose two each from the pile of pictures. Firstly, go though and talk about each one in the present tense “They are laughing, He is listening” etc. Then talk about the pictures as in the past tense: “Yesterday the boy/girl/they laughed”. The adult goes first in describing the pictures (as an example) so that your child knows what to do, be clear about when you’re changing to talk in the past tense.

Activity ideas

  • Scavenger hunt: Once completed come back and talk about…. “I went outside, and I saw…”
  • Hide and seek with picture cards: Talk about…. “I found he/she/they (jump)ed.”
  • Action games using jump, clap, hop, run, skip, point, dance, walk, crawl, blink, laugh, scratch, wiggle, bow etc: Once completed talk about….”I (_____)ed” or “Mum/Dad (____)ed”. (It’s can be really fun to get siblings involved if appropriate).

*Image from eLR app/website

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