After Rain

poem by Marian McGuinness , illustrated by Hannah Seakins

Learning Intention:

I am learning to identify action verbs so that I can change their tense and control meaning in a clause.


Success Criteria:

  • I can identify verbs in a poem
  • I can change tenses for regular and irregular verbs
  • I can create a backwards Frayer diagram for a verb.


Essential knowledge:

Links to backwards Frayer diagram templates can be found on the NSW Department of Education’s webpage Frayer Diagrams.


Oral language and communication

Ask students to define an action verb (a doing word). Brainstorm examples with the class, such as jump, run, dance, draw. Write them on the board, using different colours depending on the tense a student uses. For example, if a student says “jumped” instead “jump”, use a different colour.


Understanding text:

Explain to the class they’re about to read a poem. Ask them to take note of the action verbs. If you have a digital subscription, listen to the audio recording of After Rain. Otherwise, read the poem aloud to the class.

Invite students to share the verbs they found in the text. (Answers: come, sing, croak, pop, bud, bloom, sprout, shoots, fill, smelling, wrapped.) Discuss how words such as “bud” and “sprout” can also be a noun (person, place, thing or animal), but in this context, it’s used as a verb.

If you have a digital subscription, complete the interactive activity Verbs.


Creating text:

Draw up a table on the board with two columns titled Past and Present. Place each verb used in the poem in a different row in the relevant column. An example is below.

Past  Present


Ask students what they notice about the table. Sample answers include:

- It is mostly in present tense

- “Shoots” is present tense, even though “shoot” is also present tense (this can be an opportunity to talk about verbs with plural and singular nouns – grass shoots vs grasses shoot)

- “Smelling” is present tense, even though “smell” is also tense (this can be an opportunity to talk about how “the earth is smelling” gives more immediacy than “the earth smells”)

- “Wrapped” is the only past tense word (this can be an opportunity to discuss the spelling rule of doubling the last letter for a one-syllable word that ends in a CVC pattern when adding “ing” and “ed”)

As a class, fill out the rest of the table, discussing spelling rules and irregularities as you go. Answers below.

Past  Present
Came Come
Sang Sing
Croaked Croak
Popped Pop
Budded Bud
Bloomed Bloom
Sprouted Sprout
Shot Shoots
Filled Fill
Smelled/Smelt Smelling
Wrapped Wrap/Wraps/Wrapping

Explain that students will be making a backwards Frayer diagram for one of the words in the table. Give students an A4 piece of paper that they can fold into quarters or have them quarter a page in their workbooks. In the centre of the paper, they should have an empty box where their partner will fill in the missing verb once they’ve figured it out.


Explain that they will be giving clues in each quadrant for their partner, labelled as below.

Definition Facts/Characteristics
Examples Non-examples

For facts/characteristics, students should write whether it has a regular past tense (simply adding “ed”), or an irregular past tense. They can also write if there’s a special spelling rule, such as doubling the last letter, or dropping the “e” if they need to add “ing”.


Under the quadrant “Examples”, they can write things that commonly “do” the verb. For example, plants and grass “shoot”. Under the quadrant “Non-examples”, they can write things that wouldn’t normally do the verb. For example, elephants and sloths don’t commonly “shoot”.


An example backwards Frayer diagram is below for the verb “sing”. Note that the definition is given in the same tense as the answer.


To make music with the voice


This is an irregular verb. You don't need to double the last letter when adding "ing"












Assessment for/as learning:

Students swap their backwards Frayer diagram with a partner and see if the partner can figure out their word from the clues given.