Action verbs, are one of the most popular things to Preschool, Kindergarten and Key Stage 1 primary students and teachers. We have some of the best games, worksheets and activities for you here.
There are multiple ways to teach action verbs. Teachers and parents can use physical activities, worksheets and written activities, games and activities and spoken activities. The most effective way to teach is to use a diverse range of methods and resources to adapt your teaching to your students.
We have a selection of some of the best resources that use below. We will try to use some that offer a different way of teaching as well as some of the more traditional pen and paper methods as well.
Physical Games and Activities for Teaching Action Verbs.
Physical activities are a great way to teach Action Verbs. Children love to move about, and doing and including actions is such great way to learn both for native and second language students. Games can include, Simon Says, Charades, Guess What, as well as Action songs. Make sure the activities are safe and that there is enough room, but also make sure its lots of fun! If you are a language teacher why not take the lesson into the playground or the hall and show students a different way of learning! We have some example action verb activities below.
Will you or won’t you: This is actually a management training game scaled down and made suitable for students. Give each students some fake money (you can change this for lists of instructions and action verbs if you want to structure the game) Students then walk around and have to bet or purchase other students action verbs. So they can ask another students to hop on one leg, bark like a dog or moooo like a cow. if they do the action verb action they get the ”money” or action verb from the other player. If you wish to make it more in depth you can add a value to each action and even include the students in developing the actions!
Simon Says: I am not sure that this needs a description. However there are ways to make it a more student centered action verb activity. Instead of preparing a list of words, why not have the whole class do it as an activity or as home work. Have them write a fun Simon says paper You can download a template here or by clicking on the image) and then put them in a hat, or container. Then the next lesson you can pull them out and use those. You can even add a points system for students to guess who wrote that action verb and keep track on their board.
Charades: Well we are giving the old ones a dust of here today. Charades is more than just a sedate Christmas game for after the turkey. It is also a great educational game, especially for practicing Action and Doing verbs. You can follow the procedure above and have the students make their words, or you can use a set you have made earlier. Even downloading our Action Verbs Card game would work if you are in a hurry. For this game simply split into even numbered teams and ask one player from each team to come out and act out the words. The other players have to guess. IF you want to make it competitive you can use a type of chess clock scenario, where each team has to guess their own players acting and when they get it then they can stop their clock and start the other teams, who have to send a player to act it out. It ads an element of urgency as well.
Keep fit videos / Go noodle: Well maybe not a keep fit video, but doing exercise with instructions is a good way to build up muscle memory and burn off some of that excess energy, it can also be done over Zoom ( if you, like me, are stuck in front of a computer 24/7 at the moment) You can act like a Drill Sargent major and shout the instructions at the students. Jump and touch your toes, or left hand up right hand down, or run on spot. Anything you wish. All of these will practice action verbs.
Follow an Action Verb Song: I love doing these, especially with younger learners as they achieve my aim and theirs. The best, and it really is the best one, i have found is from an old party song from the 1970s ( showing my ages here) from a group called black lace. It is literally just them repeating a list of actions for people to follow and dance to. (trust me) They have another called the chicken song which is fun, but not really an action verb song. ( just for fun) I have put the Superman Action Verb song below, there are plenty of other songs out there, if your happy and you know it, etc which a YouTube search will reveal but this in is my little secret.
Action Verb App (Guess What): Well it is our website so here is some shameless self promotion, and we actually think it pretty good. We developed an app that is like the Heads up game from the ELLEN show. However , we added something extra for teachers! You can write your own words inside the app and then play the game! So actually this can be used for many different topics. However we have a video (we are making a better one) that explains the game in more detail. The concept is simple though, one player holds the phone to their forehead and a word is displayed, everyone else has to do the action verb or describe the action without actually saying it.
Action Verb Races: Why not set up in the hall or playground if you can and set up an Action Verb Race. Just have 5-10 sections set up and line your students all up at one end. They have to do the action till they get to the end of each section. It can be walk backwards, hop like a rabbit, run singing song. What ever you like! Make sure there is enough room for them all and you can join in and have student play the teacher role for a change!
Action Verb Classroom Activities
After all our students are tired from all the physical verb activities above, we can move to the classroom. Although both ways of teaching verbs are great it is better, for learner motivational reasons, to try to mix up how you introduce and consolidate information. Action Verb classroom activities can include, worksheets card games, ordering exercises and verbal games. You can also play games like charades and Simon says in a classroom environment as well. We have detailed some for you with resources below.
Action Verb Uno: This is a variant of the evergreen card game Uno. We have added Action verbs to the card with a simple question in English for students to ask as they play their card down. These cards can be used as a classroom resource for practice on both physical and written / table activities as well. They are not limited to just use as an Uno game, they can be printed as flashcards, or as matching exercises. Click on the image below to see them. We also have a premium version that can be edited ( at the moment) but it will be withdrawn before Christmas 2020. SO if you need it then drop us a message or an email.
Action Verb Worksheets: We have a large selection of these on the site. We have even wrapped them up in a bundle for easy access. ( we also have one on adjectives) They are quite good if we say so ourselves. We are just doing the finishing touches so will link into them when ready. We have always found multi activity worksheets are better for both younger and older learners and we have included those as well . Aside from bundles of 13 worksheets we also have samples and examples for free on our site here as well.
Action Verbs Online Games
Although Action verbs lend themselves to being more physical with their instruction their are some situations where that just isn’t possible. For these situation we have found some of the better action verb online games out there. These can be used as a whole class experience, and include online games on tenses, vocabulary and usage.
ESL Games Plus: is a friend of mine, who has been doing making ESL sites for years and has awesome online games covering every topic you can imagine. Although made for ESL they are perfectly suitable for mainstream classrooms as well.
Turtle Diary: offer a lot of games on English learning, these Verb games are perfect for that rainy day lesson in the classroom.
Education.com: Nice looking games and they are actually very good. You can play for a while then they hit you with a subscription page though.
Teaching Action Verbs should be one of the highlights of your curriculum, but only if you have a good selection of resources and ideas to bring to the classroom. Hopefully the ideas and resources above have given you a heads start or refreshed your teacher toolkit, if you have any others and would like to share with over a million other parents and teachers please add them to the comments below!
Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, I have taught English all over the world. I thought it was about time to start sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children. Feel free to take a look at our resources, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or jump on the Facebook group to ask questions. Happy learning, teaching or playing!