After my Spanish I students had learned about -ar verbs and -er verbs, I wanted to let them "figure out" how -ir verbs were conjugated based on their previous knowledge.

Before class, I taped about 12 sentences around the classroom (you could put them on tables, desks, walls, the board, etc.) that I had written on big strips of paper. Each sentence used a different -ir verb, and I duplicated each subject ending at least once.

Students were given a blank "verb chart" (the ones many of us grew up filling out) that asked for the stem of the verb and the subject ending for each different subject. On the back, there were 12 blank lines under which students had to write the subject and conjugated verb from each of the 12 sentences. After they traveled around the room writing all of these down, they had to use detective work...knowing that we were working with -ir verbs, they had to figure out what the -ir infinitives were for each of the 12 sentences. Then, they could choose one of the 12 infinitives to fill out the blank verb chart. When they were done, they would have a complete verb chart with one -ir verb fully conjugated, and 12 example sentences on the back.

After this activity, we spent time talking about the similarities between -er and -ir verbs. It was a nice way to get students up and out of their seats during grammar instruction, and to show them how much they already knew. - decortem decortem