Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vivid Verbs

Should we teach kindergarteners about verbs?
I think we should!

What the expert say:

“Young writers need to learn that verbs are the engine of the sentences. Carefully chosen verbs make descriptions sparkle and enhance reader comprehension.” Linda Hoyt Crafting Nonfiction 

“Verb are the engines of sentences. The more specific the verb, the more energy and specificity the sentence will have. “  Georgia Heard The Revision Toolbox

A few weeks ago,  my class started writing How To stories. Because we were learning about procedural writing, we talked about using verbs in our writing and what a verb is.  We read some of the book Verbs by Kate Digg and Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day by Robin Pulver.

The big takeaway for my five and six-year-olds is that a verb is an action word.

We watched an excellent video by Melissa Stewart where she talks about vivid verbs and how writers are on the look out for using precise words for the reader. At the end of the video Melissa shares, sentences with the verb missing. The students had to pick the best verb. The students LOVED doing that! I think it is powerful to students to see real authors talk about their writing. Melissa has a great blog here, and she recently published an AMAZING book for teachers called Perfect Pairs. I recently shared it with a friend of mine and one quick look and she said, "Your right, I have to buy this book!"

My class read lots of books that have verbs. We started to collect TERRIFIC VERBS on a chart. I typed this words up to have students illustrate them.

After students had illustrated their verb, we played charades with another classroom. The students LOVED acting out their word.

We posted our verbs in the classroom, and I put them on a ring. I plan to have students play this game during transition times.

I blogged about a similar lesson here using Steven Jenkins book MOVE.


  1. Thanks for sharing the video. It's great for kids to hear how an author really takes the time to choose the right words.
    Connie Anderson

  2. Hi Connie, Melissa has a bunch of great videos on You Tube! Melissa


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