Choose the classification system you would like to use:

Page Information


Language and Communication use past and future tense when telling stories  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will use the past and future tense to tell stories and talk about events.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:L1b
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP56
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info

If you are having problems with logging into the site, please email us on Or alternatively use the contact form - especially if you don't hear back from us, or you didn't get the registration email when you tried to sign up.

Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Spot the story

Sequencing cards (3 part sequences work best)

2 envelopes

Prompt cards for past and future tense

Blu tac (optional)

1. Put all the first cards of every sequence into one envelope, and put the past tense prompt card on the front.

2. Put all the last cards of every sequence in the other envelope and put the future tense prompt card on the front.

3. Lay out all the middle cards from every sequence in different places - on the table, on the walls, on the floor - whatever is appropriate in your setting.

4. Explain to the children that one child will describe a card from one of the envelopes. The other children must work out which of the cards round the room is the next / previous card - they must 'spot the story'.

5. Have one child choose a card from one envelope. If it is a card that is first in a sequence, they must describe it using a past tense. The prompt card can be used to help them. If it is a final card in a sequence, the future tense must be used. (This is because the card the other children are finding is the middle card.)

6. See who can 'spot the story' first!

Praise children for using a past or future tense as appropriate.

Use simple sequencing cards at first. Later you could use more complex ones, e.g. social sequences.

Chain story surprise (past and future)


Pen or pencil

Cards with possible story characters on them (optional)

Some children will prefer to have a character given to them to write about.

You will need a prompt card with 'did', 'has', 'had', 'was' and also a prompt card with 'will / going to' written out to remind the children to use the past and future tense.

See also


Ads on this page are provided by Google Adsense - and their presence does not imply any endorsement by Commtap. Report a problem with an ad on this page.