Lesson plan

Intense Verbs

Saunter, jog, or dash over to this hands-on lesson, and you'll find a great way to teach your young readers about verbs. Through some fun rounds of charades, students will discover different action verbs and their degrees of intensity.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to recognize action verbs and understand that verbs may have different degrees of intensity.

(15 minutes)
  • Ask students if they've ever heard of verbs. Explain that a verb is a word that shows an action or state.
  • Introduce the concept of action verbs, or verbs that refer to active behavior. Give some examples (e.g. "jump," "dance," or "skip") and have the class physically do them. Clarify that words like "know" or "want" are not action verbs.
  • Read It's Hard To Be a Verb! aloud to the class.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they'll be playing a game of charades today, and briefly go over how the game is played.
  • Set the bowl of verbs at the front of the room.
  • Have the students warm up by acting out some of the action verb cards. Call students up one at a time to pick out a card and act out whatever verb is written on it. Before doing so, you may act out one of the cards yourself to provide a model.
  • Once 5-6 students have acted out a card, let students know that there are verbs with similar meanings but different intensities.
  • Explain that intensity refers to strength and energy. If one verb is more intense than another one, it describes an action that is done with more strength or energy.
  • Ask three volunteers to come up and help you demonstrate the concept.
  • Hand the plate and cloth to the first student, and have him use the cloth to gently wipe the plate.
  • Have the second student rub the plate as though he were washing it.
  • Have the third student scrub the plate as though he were trying to get rid of a huge stain.
  • Ask students to think about which of the actions were the least and most energetic, then discuss the relative intensities of the actions as a class.
(15 minutes)
  • Organize students into groups of three.
  • Have each group select an action verb card from the basket, and tell them that they'll be acting out different degrees of intensity for their verb.
  • Give students a few minutes to practice acting out the different intensities for their verbs.
  • Have each group come up to the front, line up from least to most intense, and demonstrate their verb.
  • As each group does their demonstration, have the other students guess the group's word.
  • Move on to another group each time the correct word is guessed.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students complete the Intense Verbs: Shades of Meaning worksheet independently.
  • Enrichment: Allow advanced students to demonstrate the varying intensities of a verb on their own rather than in a group. They may choose a word from the bowl or use one that they already know.
  • Support: Use the What's a Verb? worksheet as a review tool for struggling students. Pull aside students who seem uncomfortable with the lesson material, and go over the worksheet with them to help them understand what an action verb is.
(5 minutes)
  • Pay close attention to students as they act out their verbs. Students who make no movement or copy a group member's movements may be struggling with the concept of action verbs.
  • Collect students' worksheets once time is up, and review them later to assess overall understanding of the lesson content.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask for volunteers to give other examples of verbs that vary in intensity.
  • Close the lesson by allowing students to act out their favorite verbs.

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