Effective Communication Using Past Tense (Remix for mobile learning)

Part 1:  Activity Description


Differentiating Past and Present Verb Tenses (a Remix of Effective Communication Using Past Tense)


This self-paced activity is a remix from Effective Communication Using Past Tense.  Its focus is to help English as a Second Language (ESL) learners in Adult Basic Education (ABE), Grade Level B, CCR Anchor 1 (SL.3.1-1d), Speaking and Listening Standards, differentiate past and present verb tenses.  The context is communicating symptoms to a healthcare provider, but learners will apply this knowledge to create new knowledge in other contexts.  Learners will engage in collaborative discussions (one-on-one, group, and instructor-led) with diverse partners, build on others' ideas, ask questions, and practice verbal and written use of past and present verb tenses.  

Learner Audience/Primary Use

This activity has been developed for ESL learners who speak basic English and have difficulty differentiating between past and present verb tenses. 

Educational Use

  • Curriculum/Instruction


  • English

Material Type

  • Instructional Material


  • Designers for Learning
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Conversational English
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • English Grammar
  • Past Tense
  • Present Tense
  • Verb Tenses
  • Body Ache
  • Muscle Ache
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Soar Throat
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Headache
  • Pain
  • SL.3.1
  • SL.3.1a
  • SL.3.1b
  • SL.3.1c
  • SL.3.1d

Time Required for Activity

  • 15 minutes

Targeted Skills

  • English grammar, speaking and listening, with focus on differentiating past and present verb tenses.

Learning Objectives

During this lesson, learners will:

  • Identify past and present verb tenses using flashcards to demonstrate knowledge of past and present verb tenses
  • Differentiate between past and present verb tenses in eight sentences
  • Identify 24 regular and irregular verbs

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Alignment

  • Level: Adult Education
  • Grade Level: B
  • Subject: English Language Arts / Literacy
  • Strand: Speaking and Listening
    • Anchor 1a (SL.3.1)
      • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Anchor 1a (SL.3.1a)
      • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Anchor 1a (SL.3.1b)
      • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Anchor 1a (SL.3.1c)
      • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Anchor 1a (SL.3.1d)
      • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

Prior Knowledge

  • Very Basic Conversational English and some knowledge of past and present verb tenses.   

Required Resources

  • Mobile device
  • Internet 
  • Headset for listening to Youtube videos

Activity Author & License

  • Lesson Author:  Jennifer Englund
  • License: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 License

Part 2:  Activity

The interactive activity can be viewed, downloaded, and embedded via: https://h5p.org/node/370936

Part 3: References & Attribution


  • English Activities. (2014, February 21). Health Problems in English-Learn English Lessons-Beginner Vocabulary [Video file]. Retrieved April 22, 2017 from https://youtu.be/14D92M3URXY
  • Online English Expert. (2014, January 26). English Grammar for Beginners: Regular Verbs in Past Simple Tense [Video file]. Retrieved April 22, 2017 from https://youtu.be/QlZXd-m6Pdw

Attrbution Statements

This activity was remixed from Effective Communication Using Past Tense- Rem, created by Angela Anglin, licensed under CC BY.


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