Reading Lesson Plan: Acting Out Verbs


  1. Students identify “action” verbs in their reading.
  2. Students think of “active” creative movements for each one.
  3. Students get “active” and act out the verbs they find, helping them to remember that a verb is an “action” word.


  1. Overhead transparency of a poem with lots of “action” verbs.
  2. Overhead projector
  3. 25-30 copies of poem for students to glue in their Poem Books (school journal).
  4. Highlighters for each student to highlight the action verbs.
  5. Pointer stick for students to identify the verbs.


  1. Students at desks.
  2. Teacher puts transparency on overhead.
  3. Students and teacher read and re-read poem to become familiar with it.
  4. Teacher identifies a verb as an “action” word and asks students to raise their hand whenever they hear an “action” word.
  5. Students take turns reading a line aloud.
  6. Students take turns coming up to point out the “verbs” or “action” words with the pointer, and the teacher highlights them on the transparency.
  7. When all the verbs have been highlighted, students are then handed their copy of the poem, which they glue in their Poem Book.  This book contains poems that deal with weekly learning topics, eg. Poem about the body (learning body parts in health), poem about opposites, poem about shapes, poem about the seasons.
  8. Students then use highlighters to highlight the 7 “action” verbs you may have found in the poem.
  9. Teacher and students then discuss how they can “act” out these 7 “action” words.  Keep the actions simple so they can be remembered and done quickly in a small area within a class circle.

    1. fly (flap your arms)
    2. swim (with arms)
    3. jump (up and down on the spot)
    4. dance
    5. clap
    6. sleep (hands together on cheek, snoring)
    7. waddle (heels together, toes out, walk forward and backward two or three steps.
  10. Students and teacher then form a circle around the room, leaving 1 or 2 metres between each person.
  11. With the overhead still on, teacher and students re-read the now familiar poem, stopping at each verb and acting it out (for about 5 seconds).  Poem Books can also be brought to the circle with each student if they wish.  Books can be placed on the floor in front of them.  Great reinforcement of the concept.  Students love it!

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