Lesson plan

Action Verbs Review

Can your students differentiate between action verbs and stative verbs? Use this lesson to review verb basics so that students can identify action verbs in a text.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to differentiate between action verbs and stative verbs.

(5 minutes)
  • Show students a few pictures of people doing actions, like running, jumping, and kicking (or draw simple pictures of actions on the board).
  • Ask students to suggest verbs as labels for each picture (i.e., run, jump, kick). Support students as needed to ensure the labels are action verbs and record their answers below each picture.
  • Explain that these verbs are all examples of action verbs which are verbs that express a physical (or sometimes mental) action.
  • Tell students that today they will be differentiating between action verbs and non-action verbs.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that there are some verbs that do not express an action. These verbs are called stative verbs. Stative verbs express a state rather than an action. They usually relate to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, states of being, and measurements.
  • Show a list of stative verbs (see related media) and read through the list with the class.
  • Tell students that linking verbs, like variations of "to be," are also types of stative verbs. Write a list on the board entitled "stative verbs" (e.g., "am," "are," "were").
  • Explain that many of the verbs we use do express an action. Refer to the pictures you showed earlier in the lesson.
  • Label a piece of chart paper with the title "Action Verbs."
  • Ask students to call out examples of action verbs and record them on the chart paper (e.g., "eat," "kneel," "pull," "write").
  • Tell students that when we see an action verb in a sentence, we can picture the subject of the sentence performing or receiving an action.
  • Write two or three examples on the board using the words from the student generated list (e.g., "Let's eat some popcorn! Can you pull that wagon up the hill? That book was written last year.").
  • Circle the verb in each example sentence.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the worksheet Identifying Action Verbs.
  • Review the instructions and complete the first sentence as an example for the class.
  • Instruct students to work with a partner to complete the rest of the worksheet.
  • When students are finished, call on volunteers to share action verbs from the worksheet to add to the displayed list.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the worksheet Using Action Verbs.
  • Instruct students to complete the worksheet independently.
  • Circulate and offer support as needed.


  • After the lesson, show a short video to review action verbs (see related media).
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice with a digital exercise (see optional materials).


  • Have students go through a piece of their own writing. Tell them to circle action verbs and underline stative verbs.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out one index card to each student.
  • Tell students to use a marker or bold pen to write a large A on one side of the card (for "action" verb) and the letter S on the other side (for "stative" verb).
  • Write a verb on the board, like "hug."
  • Have students hold up their index card to identify the type of verb on the board.
  • Repeat several times with various verbs and scan student responses to gauge understanding. (Note: be sure to write some stative verbs on the board during the course of this exercise.)
  • Write a sentence on the board and repeat the exercise, asking students to identify the type of verb in the sentence (e.g., "I am bored").
  • After students have identified the type of verb, ask a student volunteer to underline the verb in the sentence.
  • Repeat with several sentences.
(5 minutes)
  • Draw a large Venn diagram on the board and label one side "action verbs" and the other side "stative verbs."
  • Ask students to volunteer information about each type of verb to complete the Venn diagram (i.e., action verbs express an action; stative verbs express a state of being).

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