Purpose of the Lesson:
To build students’ understanding of verbs and adverbs through acting
This is the first lesson to do when introducing verbs or action words.
- Vocabulary Development
- Sight Vocabulary
- Writing – Words
- Writing – Sentences
- Index cards with either verbs, pictures of animals, or circumstances
- Verb dictionaries for each student (See My Word Dictionary Lesson)
Tell the class:
Let’s see if we can find a word to describe every thing we are going to do today.
Day 1: Creating verbs from drama
- Ask students to go across the room one at a time. Students move from one side of the room to the other. Every one must move across the room in a different way.
- Ask each student, “How did you move?” Write the answer on the board. They can hop, jump, skip, walk, stroll, jog, run, etc., but they must find a word to describe how they moved. If they have trouble, have the other students help describe the movement.
- List each word on the board.
- Have students sit down. Ask what all the words are. (They will probably say action words.)
- Explain that they are called verbs, which is another way of saying action words.
- Write the word verb above the list.
- Next, have each student select 3 words from the list and uses them in a sentence. Have students put the words in their verb dictionaries.
Day 2: Creating animal sounds
- Explain that the verbs they will learn today are different. Explain that the students will try to make and describe different animal sounds. They might choose a card with a picture of an animal from a hat or they could make the sound of their favorite animals. (Horses: neigh or whinny, Cows: moo or low, Bulls: bellow, Dogs: bark or yelp, call or whine, Lions: roar or growl, etc.). Students can try to name the animal and describe the sound.
- List each new verb on the board. Explain that these verbs help us describe sounds rather than actions.
- Ask students to use these words in sentences. (If the students have been introduced to writing dialogue they can use the words that way).
- Now discuss all the sounds that birds can make (sing, cluck, quack, chirp, cheep, coo, whistle, click, squawk, caw, etc.).
- List these words on the board as well.
- Have the students try to decide which sounds go with which birds (i.e. baby birds might cheep, ducks might quack, etc.).
- Have students write sentences using these words (i.e. The baby bird cheeped.).
- Finally, have students write all the sound verbs in their verb dictionaries on a different page from the action verbs.
Note: By having different types of verbs on different pages will make it easier for students to use the dictionaries to improve their writing.
Day 3: Creating dialogue verbs
- Have each student in the class ask: “Where are you?”
- Tell them that each time the next student goes s/he must ask the question in a different way (i.e. whisper, yell, etc.). Then have them tell you the verb, which describes how they have asked the question.
- Write a list of the words on the board. If they can’t find a verb, help them. If they can’t think of a different way to say the phrase, have them choose a card from a hat that describes a circumstance that effects how they’ll say the phrase (i.e. in a snowstorm, through a door, sitting next to a sleeping dragon, standing face to face with a bull).
- Say and write it as dialogue. Sample: “Where are you?” shrieked John while standing face to face with a bull.
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