Planning a St. Patrick’s Day writing center? These free verb tense resource cards help students create greater variety in their writing and the pictures make excellent prompts for choosing what to write about! The cards are aimed at first graders but would also be excellent vocabulary cards for kindergarteners.
I downloaded the 20 resource cards (below) and then printed them onto card.
There are four cards per page, so I cut them to separate the pieces and folded each card in the middle to make them double-sided.
The kids put glue on the backs of the cards, folded them and then pressed down to keep them together. For longevity, you might like to laminate your cards instead!
Checking Verb Tenses
We first used the cards to have a conversation about how words change according to whether we’re talking about the past, the present or the future.
We made up sentences together prompted by the pictures and then changed those sentences so we could use the different words on the backs of the cards correctly.
Once we understood tenses, we then used the cards 3 ways according to the confidence of each young writer: as writing prompts, spelling prompts and practicing different sentence structure.
Since there were 20 different cards, they acted nicely as writing prompts.
The children looked at their chosen card, closed their eyes and imagined a scene forming around the picture.
They had to think about their 5 senses to develop their ideas: What might they smell? What might they hear? What could they touch and see?
Then, they wrote about their imaginary scene – some with short, simple sentences and others with a longer paragraph – but always including some form of the verb on the card in their writing.
For children with lower confidence in spelling, the resource cards became a focus for a sentence. They wrote simpler sentences, sounding out words as they wrote, and using the resource cards to check key words.
Being More Versatile Writers
Sometimes children have a tendency to use similar sentence structures, so we used these cards to vary our writing.
For example, “Sean wants to jump on St. Patrick’s Day,” was changed to, “Sean jumped on St. Patrick’s Day.” And then finally, “Sean is jumping; it’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
The verb tense exercise was helpful for increasing writing fluency and encouraging the idea of manipulating the words in sentences to change meaning.