Fishing for Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation

It’s winter in Michigan (and a lot of other places), and normally that would mean our lakes would be dotted with ice fishing shelters. This year the weather’s been on the warm side and anglers have to go pretty far north to find safe enough ice to fish. Thankfully, there’s no ice (or sitting outside in the cold) required to play Fishing For Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation.

Fishing For… Games

Fishing For… is a toned down version of my original idea (which you can read about in Fishing for Contractions). It’s a very simple game to put together and play. To make my “fishing ponds,” I spray paint empty oatmeal or similarly-sized containers blue and then add in fish, sand, and other elements. I freely admit I my painting abilities are far from award-winning, but my students seem to enjoy the novelty of the containers and it does add a fun element to the game.

To make the skill-specific game components (I have five different versions thus far: contractions, irregular past tense verbs, plural nouns, short/long vowels, and regular past tense verb pronunciation), I print my target word(s) on cards with various fish on them. I originally printed the words on the fish themselves, but found they took far too long to cut out. I often also add in Shark Cards (available as a free download below the image), which cause the player to lose all of his/her fish when drawn. Sometimes, especially when I am running short on time or we are tired of using sort cards or task cards the traditional way, I’ll toss task or sort cards into the canisters instead (as described in Sort Cards: Alternative Uses).

To play Fishing For…, I divide my class into groups of two to six people (I find three or four works best). Each group gets a “fishing pond” with the cards already mixed up in it. The lid to the pond becomes the discard area, making it easy for students to know which cards are out of the game. Students take turns drawing a card and performing the required action. In the case of Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation, students have to state the correct pronunciation of the -ed ending (/t/, /d/, /Id/). If correct, the student adds the “fish” to his/her catch pile. If incorrect, the fish is discarded or said to “have gotten away” and returned to the pond. If the student draws a shark card, he/she places the shark card, and all of his/her catch, into the discard pile. Once all of the cards have been drawn, or time is up, the student with the most fish in his/her catch pile is the winner.

Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation

Unless I am teaching our pronunciation course I don’t often spend a lot of time on specific pronunciation skills. I prefer to focus on vocabulary acquisition and grammar, and allow students to work on pronunciation in a more natural manner. Throughout the years though, I have found that students appreciate it greatly when I spend at least part of a class or two on the pronunciation of the -ed ending. It’s a tricky one, and one that my students are conscious of their frequent mispronunciations. My first game for practicing this skill, Regular Past Tense Pronunciation Packing, was a huge success. My students love the game, and it made both the Top Free Blog Downloads and Top Free TPT Downloads lists for 2022. It was my students’ many requests for more games to practice this skill that lead to the creation of Fishing For Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation, and eventually Regular Past Tense -d/-ed Ending Pronunciation Spoons (if you’re not familiar with the game Spoons, check out this blog post for details).

I combine these games with a lot of discussion, a few videos, and other resources, but the games are always the big hit of our lessons. If I’m being totally honest, I rather enjoy the game as well and don’t always get the answers right when playing Fishing For Regular Past Tense Verb Pronunciation.


If you’re looking for a fun game, give Fishing For… a try. If you’re looking for some pronunciation practice, all of my regular past tense verb pronunciation games are free. You can download them from my TPT store via the various links in the post or the buttons below. For those who prefer a direct download, I’ll provide a download here as well. Happy teaching, everyone!