A Word Game for Kids from WritingFix
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Welcome, Young Writers!

The Verb Game
for Kids

choosing interesting verbs to tell a story

What interesting action words (verbs) can you use in your story writing?

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Write about a person or animal that


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What Mentor Texts could Strengthen this Lesson?
Suggest a mentor text review for the following essential question:

Hey teachers! What mentor text would you use to teach younger writers to carefully choose memorable and thoughtful verbs while writing? Click here to tell us the name of the mentor text, to share a brief description of the text, and to explain how you'd use the book to inspire better writing from your students. If we feature your idea at this page, you'll earn a resource for your classroom!

I use the picture book Arrowhawk by Lola M. Schaefer to show my third graders the use of strong verbs.  The subject matter is an instant attention-grabber and since it’s a story that begs not to be interrupted, I first read the book aloud.  After sharing, I go back and reread some pages while students listen for words the author uses in place of fly (soared, raced, swooped, streaked, sailed, glided, flapped), listing the examples on chart paper.  Then we begin our classroom posters for replacing words like went, walk, said, etc.  Words are added throughout the year as we find strong verbs in our reading and writing.

--Michelle Draves, Berlin, Wisconsin

(Marjie chose a Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide as her gift for sharing this blurb.)

I use the book Crickwing by Janell Canon as a mentor text. I rewrite a page and replace the vivid verbs with more generic verbs in preparation but I hold it until after I have read the story aloud. I read the story aloud. Then, I show the paragraph with the generic verbs and ask the students, "Does this writing paint a strong mental picture?" Groups work to replace the generic verbs with stronger verbs. Last, I call the students to the floor and re-read the story, this time they have a sheet of paper and they write down all the strong verbs they hear in the story. We then chart them on paper and post in the room. It not only reinforces the use of verbs but allows the students to study authors' craft.

--Marjie Rowe, Royal Palm Beach, Florida

(Marjie chose a Reading in the Content Areas Guide as her gift for sharing this blurb.)

I love sharing Brian Cleary's picture book To Root to Toot to Parachute: What Is a Verb? I use it when teaching students to brainstorm all the wonderful verbs they know but don't realize they know. It helps me stop them from using went and got too often in their writing.

We also love to make discoveries about verbs we know that rhyme with each other. Cleary's title has three rhyming verbs, and sometimes my writers will discover they have three too: talk, shock, and walk, for example. Most of my students make lists of two rhyming verbs: fly and cry. With a rhyming set of two or three, they can draw illustrations that show those multiple verbs happening at the same time in a drawing.

--Corbett Harrison, Reno, Nevada


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