Remember the Past

Scripture: Genesis 37

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the first part of Joseph’s life when he lived with his family.
  • Students will practice memorizing irregular past tense verbs using memory card games.

Guiding Question: How do we change irregular verbs to past tense?

Materials: markers, construction paper or index cards cut into the size of playing cards, plastic bags to keep sets of cards in

Procedure: To prepare for the lesson, make a memory match card game using irregular verbs and their past tense form. The goal of the game is for students to match the verb to its past tense. Example: ate would be the match for eat. You will need one set of cards for each pair of students. About 12 cards per set should work depending on student ages and previous exposure to content. Make sure that the paper is thick enough that students cannot read through the back when they are placed face-down.

Try to choose verbs from the story. Here are some irregular verbs: Find/found, eat/ate, go/went, tell/told, sell/sold, run/ran, dream/dreamt, keep/kept, feel/felt, grow/grew, sleep/slept, fly/flew, know/knew, say/said, draw/drew.

With the students, review the first part of Joseph’s life. Explain to students that Genesis 37 gives a lot of important background information about Joseph that will later affect the type of person he becomes and his ability to help his family in the future. There are three main tenses in English: Past, Present, Future. It is important to remember our past so that we can learn from it and grow. Many times we read and write in past tense. Ask students to determine which sentence is in present and which is in past tense:

We pray to God.
We prayed to God.

Ask which word gave them a clue. The action, “pray/prayed” word tells us when it happened. We can change the tense by looking at the action word. Usually we add –ed, but not all words do this. Explain that some words like, eat/ate, and go /went, are different. We call these irregular. Show students the cards. Review each pair of irregular verbs as a group. Then pair students with a partner and have them play a memory match game. Less advanced students may play with all of the cards face up and simply take turns finding the matching verbs. Other students can make it more challenging by placing the cards face down in three rows of four. It is important that the cards are in straight lines so that their placements are easier to remember. Students then take turns flipping over two cards and seeing if they match. If they match the present and past tense, they keep the cards. If not, they flip them back over and it becomes the next person’s turn.

Additional Questions:

  • How do we usually change an action word to past tense? (add –ed)
  • What are some common irregular past tense verbs?
  • In what situations would you probably write in past tense?

Supplemental Activity: Students can write about something that happened in their past. Encourage them to use past tense action words and circle them as they write each one.

Written by: Savannah Negas

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