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Action Verbs

Compiled By: Mrs. G

If you are trying to liven up your grammar lessons, try some of these creative ideas for action verbs.

Verbs & tenses
Posted by: sj

I searched the net for free clipart and copied different pics that showed actions (man sweeping, surfer surfing, dog wagging tail, etc) I printed the pics and cut them into cards. I had the class in two teams. When it was a kid's turn, I showed the pic to just that child and he was to act out what the pic suggested. The whole class could guess what action he was pantomiming. This generated a great number of verbs before they landed on "the verb" the child was acting out. To get a point for his team, the child had to complete all three of these sentences with his verb: It (he, I)can___. It is ___ing. Yesterday it___. Throughout the game, I reminded kids that they were giving me action verbs. Following the game I asked for other verbs that could be used for each picture, such as the lawn mower could have been clipping, trimming, or pushing rather than mowing. I ended the lesson with each student making a list of 20 action verbs. The kids enjoyed it a lot, and I think they got the idea of verbs as action words by generating so many during the game.

nouns and verbs
Posted by: Cheryl

This year while reviewing nouns and verbs we did several things that were fun:
*I put nouns cards in a bag-students reached in and had to act out that noun for the class to guess-in the beginning we said if it was a person, place, or thing
*I linked it with poetry by doing acrostics or stand up poems - after modeling how to-they each did a person, place and thing acrostic poem

*same as above for acting out

*taught them how to use a thesaurus to find vivid verbs

*we did verb poems- they thought of a person- mom, dad, fireman etc and then listd all the actions that that person could do.
ex. Mrs. Silva
assits, ...
and cares!

after doing n and v, I had them draw a noun out of one bag and a verb out of the other-they had to get us to figure out who or what they were and what their action was. this came up with some silly combinations which they thought were great

after you introduce the major parts try doing some Mad Libs to reinforce-they love the results!!!!

Posted by: vl

I play a verb and noun game with my second graders that is very simple, but they love it and it gets the point across. you only need two brown lunch bags and some index cards. I mark one bag nouns which contains one card for each student. They are the "person" noun. The second bag is marked verbs. The first time I put in several cards with an action verb on each card.
One student (noun) comes up and pulls out a verb and does something for the rest of the class to guess what the verb is without talking. Students who think they know the answer raise their hands and the student up front chooses whom to call on until someone gets it. Then the student pulls out another noun (another card with a student's name on it). The next student then does the same thing.
We had one session where the whole class brainstormed a lot of action verbs, we came up with a lot of good ones. I hope this helps.

Posted by: S.J.

There is a book called, "Wiggle, Jiggle, Prance." It is full of action verbs and colorful pictures. I read the story then the kids enjoy acting out the different verbs in the story. Students get up in class and "do" the verb on the pages (walk, hop, prance, etc.) When they finish they can use their favorite action verbs to make sentences, write their own stories using verbs, or complete a verb hunt using magazines or by looking around the room for words. They get really excited about the new verbs that they find. Hope this helps!

Posted by: Newbie

I don't have a powerful verbs list, but here's what I did last year with my 6th graders:

- Give examples of verbs that are overused/dull (said, look, etc.).
- Have each student come up with at least 2 of his/her own.
- List all the verbs on the board and together come up with synonyms that would be better. You can incorporate the thesaurus to help you.
- After the list is made, you can print a copy and give it to each student. You can also post it on the wall as a year long reference.

This takes a while, but the students do the work, so it's easier on you :)

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nouns and verbs
Posted by: October 24, 2001

I use a cooperative learning exercise from Spencer Kagan called Inside Outside Circle.
What you need:
Word cards with names of nouns on one side,
"noun" definition on the other.
(For verbs, write action words on one side, and "verb" definition on the other.)

You need atleast one card for each 2 players.

This is how it works:
Divide the class into two groups. One group will be the inside circle, and the other will be outside. Have the inside circle turn to face their outside circle partners.Give the outside circle partner a word card. The outside circle partner shows the word card. The inside partner reads the word and tells if the word is a verb or noun, and how they know. Partners self correct.
Then the inside circle moves one place clockwise to the next partner, and a new word.
Play several times, then have the inside circle switch with outside, so each player gets turns showing the cards.
My Third graders love this! We use this with math facts, and spelling practice, too!

Marcia Lee

Posted by: Laurie

I used a "Go fishing activity" The kids took turns fishing for verbs and nouns. I set up four different plastic fishing bowls. Nouns (Person, place or thing) and verbs (actions). If a word could be acted out it was a doing word, if not the student had to decide what type of noun it was-person, place or thing. The kids really seemed to enjoy it and it was a great hands on activity. Good Luck-hope this helps!

Posted by: Jaqui

My second graders enjoyed this activity. I let them cut out an animal from a magazine. Next, they wrote verbs that went with the animal. We glued the animal in the middle of a piece of construction paper and then wrote the a web of verbs around it. We made it into a class book. We also did the same for adjectives.

Posted by: christine

Not much of an activity but when we have a few minutes left at the end of a PE lesson I'll ask my kids to summarize what we've done: we ran, we jumped etc... Then I'll tell them that these words are verbs, telling what happens. I add a few silly examples and they seem to catch on: Can you jump? yes, it's a verb.Do it! Can you chocolate? no, it's not a verb.Stay in line.
Hope this helps a bit!

Posted by: sabrina

My class loves to play verb charades. Each student receives a card and they must act out the verb on the card. When another student thinks he or she knows the verb, they raise their hand and say their guess. If they are correct, the become the next actor. You can do this in two teams also, which makes it more fun. I also have relays where the class is divided into two teams. Each person has a card with a word. When it is their turn they must race to the correct box (noun or verb) and put their card in. Each card is programed with a circle on the back or a square. One team is the circles and one is the squares. I then check the boxes to see which team has successfully placed their cards in the proper box. We go through each card, saying which is a verb and which is a noun. This is really safe for the child also, because he or she is the only one who saw their own card, no one else knows who may have gotten confussed on a verb or a noun.

Posted by: BetsyC

I always use "Verb Safari" that I found in a Mailbox book. While students aren't in the room hang about 20 or so words of various parts of speech around the room. Try to put them in places that are somewhat inconspicuous but not that hard to find. Talk to the students about what a safari is and tell them they will go on a safari for verbs (or nouns-whichever you'd like to do). They need to carry a clip board and paper around the room with them and must work independently and very quietly. I always tell mine to be careful not to be to obvious when they've found a word because that gives it away to other students. The trick is they can only record the word on their paper if it is a verb. You could have them make a t-chart and record verbs on one side and nouns on the other. When time is up I allow students to share the words they found and where they found them. I take down each word as the student shares it. If the word wasn't a verb I have them decide what part of speech it is.

For irregular verbs: (go-went-have, has, had gone)
I write each irregular verb on an index card and display them in a pocket chart. We chant them:
go, went
have has
had gone.
I use a pointer and point to each card as we chant. We do this several times a day until they have them memorized. Then I'll challenge them to recite. I'll give them the present tense verb (go) and the student gives the next two (went, have has, had gone). I usually draw name sticks for this and have them close their eyes when it's their turn. They love doing this and beg me to do it. I also let them get a treat from the treat jar if they get their verbs correct. If a student misses his I'll go back at the end and give him another chance. When students must choose the correct verb for a sentence I tell them to first look for the tricky "h" words and then go from there. I can always here them quietly chanting when working independently.

I hope that what I've typed is understandable- I'm in a hurry as usual! Good luck! ;)

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Action poems
Posted by: Cathy

I just did action poems with my fourth graders but I'm sure you could do them as a shared writing with your grade 1's. They are easy and fun. Here is an example of an action poem:

Dogs are for hugging after a bad day,
Dogs are for chasing when you're at play,
Dogs are for training which can be tough,
Dogs are for loving, you can't get enough!

Basically, you choose a topic and think of 4 action verbs with -ing endings. You rhyme the first two and the second two. When we did these, I modeled a few, we did parter readings of the ones I wrote. (They are good for practicing fluency!) Then, we brainstormed a list of topics. We did one together as a shared writing. Then, kids got with partners and wrote one as a team. They had to read it to the class as a team. Finally, they wrote one on their own. Then, they illustrated a border to go around their final written or typed poem. They did an awesome job and it was so easy for me to edit because they're short poems.

one activitiy
Posted by: Sue W.

One thing I do with my first grade remedial readers in small groups is our "Action Word Game". It helps with sight words and they think its fun!
I write verbs on 3X5 flash cards starting with just a couple and then gradually building. The kids and I read them together first and then do the actions silently as the cards are flashed. They sit, run (in place),hop, jump, look, smile,dance,fly, spin, etc. I use sight words that come up in their beginning reading materials, simple phonetic words, and ask them for suggestions. One girl suggested wiggle and that brings giggles every time. We go slowly adding a couple at a time. Those who have more problems look at what others are doing, but get lots of practice seeing the words, especially if you add a time delay before they do the actions, (count to 5 so everybody has time to figure it out). It has just the fun element that gets some kids interested, especially if you let them each have a turn flashing the cards and you do the actions. I use the words several time, especially a lot of SIT randomly which seems to help keep it on a calmer note, and always contrive a SIT at the end.

The Z was Zapped
Posted by: Crystal

I love using his book the Z was Zapped. It is a black and white alphabet book, that has the setting of a stage.

Each letter is doing something, so the focus can be placed on verbs. I read-aloud the book and after modeling the first few pages, I have my students then guess the verb for the letter.

Then, I assign a letter to each student and we create a part two. They have to create a page using a verb.

My students love this book. You can also use this book to focus on adverbs as well.

verb books
Posted by: Jan

My children made a class book of verbs. They brought props from home and I took a digital picture as they acted out the verb. Then they wrote a timeline for their page showing past, present and future tenses of the verb. For example, Yesterday Sue and Sally skated. Today Sue and Sally skate. Tomorrow Sue and Sally will skate. The girls brought skates,kneepads and helmets. It was a cute picture! The whole book was a hit.

No title
Posted by: Alicia G

I like the charade idea.

Make up a silly story (sort of like Mad Libs) and have the kids say some answers. Here's an example:

Once upon a time, there was a huge wolf and he loved to ______. One day when the sun was ________, he _______ as fast as he could to the little cabin at the edge of the woods. Inside Goldilocks was busy ______ her breakfast. When she _______ out the window and ____ the wolf she _______ as loud as she could.

You get the idea. You can read it and have the kids take turns supplying serious or silly answers.

Another idea is to ask them questions like:

1. When you go on vacation what do you like to do?

2. When you go to recess, what do you like to do?

3. When your friend comes over, what do you like to do?

4. When it's chore time at home, what do you NOT like to do?

Ask for one word answers and you'll get a lot of verbs like swim, skate, kick, run, play, eat, talk, clean, fold, scrub, etc.

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Verb Fun
Posted by: 1956BD

Make verb index cards. Have students draw a card from a hat. Then they have to act that verb out for the class.

Allow them to create a collage of verbs from old newspapers and magazines.

Write some sentences with warn out vebs like went, walked, said ....
Then have them rewrite them with more vivid verbs.

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Valerie Verb
Posted by: gohawks

I made a life-sized outline drawing of myself on paper. Then students had to come up with verbs that parts of the body do. For example, your hand "writes" and your legs "run". Students would write words on notecards and then put that action word on the part of the body that it pertained to. I then put the poster up to display. Students added verbs as they thought of more.

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No title
Posted by: Tessa

I use Peter Combe's songs 'Wash Your Face in Orange Juice' (also kknown as 'Mr. Clickety Cane') and 'The Walking Song' to learn about verbs. Both of his albums, 'Toffee Apple' and 'Spaghetti Bolagnese' are available from Amazon. I get the kids to listen to the song, then we list the verbs in it, then we listen again (lyric sheets come in handy!) and then we complete a page where we have ti identify and fill in the verbs.

Hope that helps!

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Just did Verbs...
Posted by: Socks

We just did verbs and had a hard time coming up with a center to do with them! I settled on having the kids find a verb in a magazine, paste it on a piece of paper, draw a picture of the verb, and write a sentence using the verb. I've attached the paper I made to go with it.

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Posted by: isellabrate

I did this with my third graders just last week. My students were paired up for this activity. I gave my students a large block letter V. (9 X 12) They took turns doing something and having their partner write it on the V. We then discussed and compared our lists. It was not a quiet activity, but it was a wonderful last hour on Friday afternoon bit of fun. We then discussed and compared our lists.

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use literature
Posted by: cestabrook

Ogres, Ogres, Ogres is an alliterative picture book with tons of "eat" and "drink" verbs. Some words I even had to look up in the dictionary!!! I give the kids pretzels and juice and they act out the various meanings of the words. They write their own sentences, too.

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