Narrative Writing: Verb Tenses

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12314

What is tense? Is that where campers live? That joke is from the past and presently isn't funny, so don't use it in the future. Tense is the time action happens so now's the time to learn about verbs!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


"Did you get your present? I thought your birthday was past." "No, it's tomorrow, so I'll get my present in the future." Don't get tense; read on to see how to use the correct verb each time!

Narrative writing is a descriptive form of writing where you are telling a story.

When you tell a story, you want to use action verbs like "run," "jump," "dance," and so on. In this lesson, you will review the different tenses of verbs and how to use them correctly in your writing.

If you missed or wish to review the previous Related Lessons in this Narrative Writing series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

  1. Take out a piece of paper and pencil.
  2. Make three columns by drawing a line from the top of the page to the bottom two times.
  3. At the top of the first column, write the word "Present."
  4. At the top of the second column, write the word "Past."
  5. At the top of the third column, write the word "Future."
Present Past Future


As you watch Verb Tenses -, write down the different tenses of the verbs they use in the correct column:


The three tenses of verbs that were presented in the video are past, present, and future tenses. Let’s see if you remember how to tell them apart:

  1. Which tense is illustrated in the example, "Last week, I planted a garden."? The past tense of a verb states something that happened in the past. It is usually formed by adding –ed or –ing to the main verb.
  2. Which verb tense is illustrated in this example: "I collect post cards." The present tense of a verb states something that is happening now.
  3. Which verb tense is illustrated in the example, "I will weed the garden tomorrow." The future tense of a verb states something that will take place in the future. It is formed by adding "will" or "shall" to the main verb.

Remember, verb tense tells when the action is taking place.

Continue to the Got It? section to get more practice.

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