Does anyone have any good ideas for teaching how/when to use strong verbs to third graders? I have seen some online but a lot of it is geared to middle-high school students. I really want to expand their vocabulary and get them in the habit of not using words like "took", "walk", "talk" all the time in their writing.
I heard a great idea to implement around halloween - take those tired, boring, old words and "bury" them to forever rest in peace. Tell the students what kind of words you're talking about, and ask them to brainstorm some replacements. One idea was to write the tired words on a picture of a gravestone with alternative words written on the poster somewhere (written on blades of grass growing on top of the grave?). Another idea was to actually do a "funeral" for the words by writing them on index cards and then putting them in a box (I don't think anyone actually buries the box, but the kids can certainly think you will!). Once you've done the initial activity, have the kids be on the lookout in their reading for how other authors replaced those RIP words and add those ideas to your poster as you go.
The book Razzle Dazzle Writing by Melissa Forney has a fun little play. The book also has a whole page of suggested strong verbs kids can use. She also has a page of replacement words for "said." I bet there are lots of resources with similar word lists.
Have you used the book Razzle, Dazzle by Melissa Fortney? It is a wonderful resource and has a terrific section on teaching strong verbs. It's available through most book stores, though you may have to order it. Amazon.com probably has it.
Ogres, Ogres, Ogres is an alliterative picture book with tons of "eat" and "drink" verbs. Some words I even had to look up in the dictionary!!! I give the kids pretzels and juice and they act out the various meanings of the words. They write their own sentences, too.
I just took a writing course and i was introduced to a book by brian P. Cleary called "too root too toot too parachute" its a book that uses verbs and explains them in a colorful fashion. I used it with my fifth graders and they liked it.
Ask them what verbs are.
Introduce the verbs by reading the story
then ask them what verbs are again.
Make a word wall labeled "strong verbs" and encourage them to use the verbs on the wall instead of the "weak verbs" they are using now.
Teaching strong verbs can be fun when you allow them to know that a strong verb has more than one syllable. I teach 5th graders who were not aware of verb usage so this seemed the easiest way and it worked! I also encourage them to use the Thasaureus when able. They love loking up "Up-Words"! Good luck!
I use a lot of poetry when I teach verbs. I love Jack Prelutsky, and use Dainty Dottie Dee from his book The New Kid On The Block. The poem (New Kid), is excellent for connections, inferring, and visualizing. It's great to watch the kid's faces when you reveal the covered word. I use it as a cloze activity. You cover rhyming, repetition, and words making sense (context clues), plus you can add movement. Read it, and you'll know what word to cover! Recipes are also great to teach verbs. You can't have a recipe without verbs. Toss, mix, add, slice, brush, fry, stir etc. I made an UNO game with nouns, verbs, and adjectives, but also added the special cards like Draw 1, Wild, Reverse, Skip. Pass out word cards (words that you come up with....throw, dusty, climb, roast), turn extra cards upside down. Turn first card over, let's say it's the word write....then the pattern would be verbs, Wild cards change the pattern. Some words fit more than one part of speech, like garden. This game is one of my favorites.
Try the book "Brave Irene" Great picture book with lots of strong verbs that kids can easily identify. See also the DVD. Either way, read it once, then either watch DVD or read again and have them write down or identify when the author uses a strong verb.
I am teaching strong verbs to third-graders right now and I used the book "Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings" by Deborah Hopkinson. It's great for hearing/showing the kids how strong verbs are like "diamonds in the rough" and really make the book sparkle. The first few times we saw a strong verb, I pointed it out. As I continued to read, the students really got into it and loved picking out the strong verbs...and telling me the boring alternative!