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Stative Verb Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Some students may not be aware that there are, in fact, different types of verbs. This lesson focuses on stative verbs by providing teachers with classroom activities designed to teach this verb type to learners of varying ages.

The State of Verbs

The term stative verb may scare some of your learners into thinking they'll have to learn a bunch of new grammar concepts and rules. To avoid this misconception, write the following information on the board as you explain or recap stative verbs:

  • Stative verbs are used to describe states of being.
  • States of being are things like possession, emotions, and thoughts.
  • Verbs that describe actions like run, hit, and throw are called dynamic or action verbs.

At this point, ask students for examples of sentences that make use of stative verbs. Write their responses on the board, and feel free to supplement the list with the examples below:

  • Joanne feels happy today.
  • I couldn't believe the news this morning.
  • The drivers will disagree about the cause of the accident.
  • Sam owns the shop on the corner.

Once you feel confident that your students understand stative verbs, use the other activities in this lesson to reinforce this knowledge.

Choose the State

  1. Divide the class into two groups.
  2. Give an index card to each student in group one.
  3. Instruct the students in group one to write a stative verb on the back of the index card and give it to a student in group two.
  4. Have students in group two write a sentence on the front of the card using the stative verb written on the back.
  5. Repeat these steps with new index cards, but have students in group two write the stative verb and students in group one write a sentence.
  6. You should now have the same number of stative verb sentence cards as students.
  7. Collect the cards and write each of the stative verbs on the board.
  8. Review the stative verbs on the board as a class. Identify which verbs were used frequently and which were not.
  9. As a class, try to think of similar verbs that could be used in place of the more common stative verbs students chose. For example, if 'feels' was used multiple times by students, you could offer alternatives, such as 'senses' or 'thinks' instead.

Stative Verb Avoidance

This challenging activity will show students just how integral stative verbs are to communication. To demonstrate, ask a volunteer to join you at the front of the room.

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