Teaching the Spanish Present Tense: Lesson Plan for Beginner Spanish Students in Grades 8-12

Teaching the Spanish Present Tense: Lesson Plan for Beginner Spanish Students in Grades 8-12
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Teaching Spanish preset tense can be a challenge since English present tense doesn’t change according to the subject. For this reason it is necessary to provide the students with the correct background and ample practice to develop competence in this area.

Lesson 1 Objectives:

  • Students will become familiar with present tense conjugations for regular verbs with –ar, -er, and –ir endings.
  • Students will be able to use present tense verbs in a sentence successfully.


  • Notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Magazines
  • Glue
  • Construction paper

Lesson Procedure:

1. Introduction: Review subject pronouns by having students come up and write on them on the board (i.e. yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros(as), ustedes, ellos(as)). *Note: vosotros(as) may be added in if necessary.

2. Explain how in Spanish, verbs are conjugated to express tense. Unlike English, verbs in Spanish are conjugated to indicate an action in the present. Review subject pronouns and discuss how each has a specific conjugation, being sure to emphasize that él, ella, and usted share the same form, as well as do ustedes and _ellos(as)._Create a chart on the board and allow students to copy down in their notebooks. Give an example verb for each.

  • –ar verbs: -o, -as, -a, -amos, -an. (hablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, hablan)
  • **–er verbs: -**o, -es, -e, -emos, -en. (bebo, bebes, bebe, bebemos, beben)
  • –ir verbs: -o, -es, -e, -imos, en. (vivo, vives, vive, vivimos, viven)

3. Put sentences on the board and have students come up and conjugate.

  • Ella ______________ (correr) en el parque. (corre)
  • Yo ______________ (hablar) español. (hablo)
  • Ellos ______________ (comer) hamburguesas. (comen)
  • Tú _________________ (estudiar) en el colegio. (estudias)
  • Nosotros ________________ (vivir) en la ciudad. (vivimos)

4. Pass out magazines and construction paper. Have students cut and paste five pictures and write a sentence in present tense about what each person is doing. Have students include at least one example of an –ar, -er, and –ir ending.

5. If there is time, have students share one picture and sentence with the class.


Collect the sentences written by students to check for understanding and correct application of conjugations. Continue to review and go back over any confusion. Once basic present tense is mastered, students then should be introduced to useful irregular verb conjugations.

This online quiz can give students extra practice: Spanish Verb Drills

Before moving on to other verb tenses, be sure that students can correctly use the present tense as it is the most used and provides a basis for many other tenses in the Spanish language. A correct usage of present tense truly opens up the conversational world for students of a second language.

This post is part of the series: Teaching the Spanish Verb Tenses

This unit goes through all the Spanish verb tenses: Present, Future, Preterite, Imperfect, and Conditional. These lessons are appropriate for beginner students in grades 8-12.

  1. Spanish Lesson Plan: Present Verb Tense
  2. Spanish Lesson Plan: The Future Verb Tense
  3. Spanish Lesson Plan: Preterite Verb Tense
  4. Spanish Lesson Plan on the Imperfect Verb Tense
  5. Spanish Verb Tenses: Conditional