Verb Games for 3rd Grade

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Learning verbs is an important part of language development. Help your students enjoy the process, by playing some of these verb games appropriate for third graders.

3rd Grade Verb Games

As children's language skills improve over time, they gain larger numbers of tools in their language toolbox. These tools include useful words like adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. This process can be speeded along by directly teaching words and how they're used in sentences. However, learning words isn't always the most exciting thing for students. This issue can be addressed using classroom games and activities. Take a look at some of these ideas.

Verb Improv

The classic verb game is basically verb improv. It involves creating a set of index cards with verbs written on them. Your students take a card from the deck, and then attempt to act out that verb without saying anything. Students in their group must guess what verb it represents.

This can be done in many ways - as a whole class activity, in groups, or even as a competition between groups, scoring points for every verb guessed within a time limit. But, bear in mind that as a whole class activity it will likely be too much attention and pressure for a lot of students to handle.

Verb Sorting

Another part of learning about verbs is splitting them up into the three main types: action verbs, helping verbs, and linking verbs. Action verbs are things like playing, running, eating, clapping and dancing. Helping verbs are words like may, might, must, be, were, do, did, which come before a main verb. Finally, linking verbs are words like be, is, am, were, have, and has, where there is no main verb at all. Some words can be both helping and linking depending on the sentence.

One game involves sorting as many verbs as possible correctly into categories within a time limit. This is best done using either large index cards with verbs written on them, or by attaching verbs to ball pit balls, bean bags, or other manipulatives. Students or groups can be given a huge bag full of them, and be asked to sort as many as they can within three minutes. A point can be awarded for every correctly sorted verb, and a point deducted for incorrectly sorted verbs.

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