New to teaching this part of the English Language Arts curriculum or just looking for new ways to engage students as they learn about verbs? Take a peek at this primer from our teacher team!
What Is a Verb?We know it's a bit obvious, but knowing the definition of this part of speech is only part of the battle. You'll also need to explain verbs to your students! Try this verb definition for kids in your classroom: Verbs are words that describe actions or states of being. For example, "run," "jump," "sing," and "sleep" are all verbs. They can be used to describe what a person, animal, or thing is doing. It is important for children to learn verbs as it helps them to express themselves better and understand sentences.
How to Teach Verbs to KidsWhen you first begin introducing verbs to your students, they'll be learning to identify and use verbs in sentences, as well as understanding the concepts of past, present, and future tense. As they progress in their education, students will learn more complex verb forms and tenses. Looking for a few ways to make this fun and engaging? This teaching resource collection is chock full of fun reading center activities, engaging printables, and more ideas from our teacher team. You might also want to try these ideas:
- Use examples: Provide children with examples of verbs in action by acting them out, using pictures, or pointing to objects and asking what they are doing. Some simple verb sentence examples to start with include "The dog runs." "The child jumps." "The bird sings." "The baby sleeps."
- Use flashcards: We have a host of printable flashcards with pictures of different actions (e.g. a child running, a dog barking) ready to print and use in your classroom!
- Play verb games: Games like charades or "I Spy" help young learners identify and use verbs in sentences.
- Use stories: Incorporate verbs into stories and have students identify the verbs and act them out.
- Encourage verbal expression: Encourage students to use verbs when speaking and try to use them in conversation as well.
- Practice, practice, practice: Provide students with opportunities to practice identifying and using verbs through writing and speaking exercises.
How to Teach Verb TensesDo your students already have the basics of this part of speech down? It's time to turn to verb tenses. Teaching verb tenses can be a bit more complex than teaching verbs themselves, but there are a few strategies that can be effective:
- Practice conjugation: Have children practice conjugating verbs in different tenses to help them understand the patterns and rules.
- Use real-life situations: Use scenarios or stories from your students' own lives to help them understand how verb tenses are used in context.
- Progress gradually: Start with the most basic verb tenses such as present and past tense, then progress to more complex ones like future tenses and continuous tenses.