Irregular verbs can be very difficult for some individuals to learn because, as their name implies, they do not follow any sort of regular pattern; however, an irregular verb game can help. These irregular verbs generally do not take on the regular past tense. If we take the word "skate," the past tense that many people are familiar with is "skated." In the same strain, if we take the word "bake," the past tense is "baked." However, words such as drive and fight do not take the same form. Those words in the past tense wind up being drove and fought, respectively.
Before implementing any irregular verb games in an educational setting, it is always best to brush up on the words that classify as irregular verbs. There are so many of them, that they can be hard to remember even for a professional!
Here are some examples of irregular verbs and their past tense forms.
- be-was, were
- broadcast-broadcast, broadcasted
Games to Learn Irregular Verbs
Here are some ideas for games that let students practice the use of irregular verbs:
- Divide students up into terms, and distribute a handout of irregular verbs in their present tense. See which team can put all of the verbs into their past form the quickest.
- Using foam cut outs or other kid-friendly materials, put a mixture of verbs and irregular verbs in a bag. Create a chart with the headings "Regular Verbs" and "Irregular Verbs" on a surface to which the verbs can be attached. Have students reach into the bag without looking, and place the verb in the proper section.
- Play "Jeopardy!" in the classroom, and make irregular verbs one of the sections.
- In order to get students accustomed to the various forms, distribute pieces of paper with both the irregular verbs and their past tense forms. Have students glue the pairs next to each other on a piece of paper. This activity is of a very basic nature. However, students need to visualize the words and learn them before they can actually put them into play.
What follows are links to some irregular verb games that are pre-made and readily available:
- Jeopardy! - Much like the "Jeopardy!" suggestion above, this Quia game allows players to select questions of different values about irregular verbs.
- Memory Game - Students match pairs of words based on both their memory and grammatical skills.
- ESL - A host of activities appropriate to ESL learners are listed.
- Crossword Puzzle - A fairly self explanatory title!
Importance of Games
Games are a crucial part of the educational experience because they teach students that learning can be provocative and exciting, and not just based off of rote drills and lectures. However, no one teaching technique should occupy all of a classes' time. Therefore, mixing irregular verb games in with other learning activities will greatly enrich the quality of the education received in the classroom.