Verbs Working Together: Helping and Linking Verbs
Students will be able to identify helping verbs and linking verbs and use them in a sentence.
- Have students work with a partner or small group to list as many verbs as they can in three minutes. Students will likely list all action verbs and that’s okay.
- After three minutes, have the group with the most verbs read theirs aloud.
- Now, ask if anyone had any of the following verbs: is, has, does, can, could, must, be, are, have, do, will, would, may, been, am, had, did, shall, should, might, being, was, and were.
- Students may be surprised or confused as, most likely, no one will have these verbs.
- Explain that these are called helping verbs and linking verbs and that they are often overlooked but are very important.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain that helping verbs allow us to speak with more specificity. They allow us to tell if something is likely to happen or if it should happen.
- Give the example: "I do my chores," "I should do my chores," or "I will do my chores." Discuss the difference of these three sentences. Do they mean the same thing? How are they different?
- Explain that linking verbs are simply verbs that don’t show action; rather, they show state of being and connect the subject to the predicate. There is no action, the verb provides a status. Give the example: "I am tired," or "She is late."
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling(15 minutes)
- Distribute the worksheet Helping vs. Linking Verbs.
- Review the instructions and do the first six problems together.
- Instruct students to work with a peer or in small groups to finish the sheet, composing sentences of their own.
- Review the examples that your students have generated.
Independent Working Time(20 minutes)
- Distribute the worksheet Helping Verbs and Linking Verbs Story.
- Review the instructions.
- Instruct students to complete the activity.
- Do a shared writing activity, starting the story as a class. Think through each sentence as you write it together and include helping and linking verbs.
- Once you think students have the idea, have them start their own.
- Have students examine an excerpt of text from a book they are reading and identify linking and helping verbs in the story.
- Challenge students to write sentences that have both helping and linking verbs.
- Write the sentence on the board: "I was early but I will help clean after the party."
- Have students identify the helping and linking verbs.
- "Was" is the linking verb and "will" is the helping verb.
Review and Closing(5 minutes)
- Discuss: What would our language be like without helping or linking verbs? How would communication be different?