To build students’ understanding of verbs and adverbs through acting
This is the first lesson to do when introducing verbs or action words.
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.