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Lesson Plans Library 3-5 > Language Arts
Pendemonium: The Great African Surfari: Verbs
Pendemonium: The Great African Surfari: Verbs
Grade level: 3-5 Subject: Language Arts Duration: 1 class period
 



lesson plan support
Student Objectives
  • Analyze verbs.
  • Identify irregular verbs (go, went, swim, swam).
  • Explore present tense and past tense verbs.
  • Examine how verbs must match their subjects.
  • Work effectively in small groups.
Materials
  • The Great African Surfari: Verbsvideo
  • Paper and pencils
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or colored markers
  • Two paper bags: one filled with subjects and the other filled with verbs (active and inactive)
  • A set of action verb cards
  • Print resources about verbs
Procedures
  1. After viewing the video, reinforce its concepts by readingTo Root, To Toot, to Parachuteby Brian P. Cleary, or a similar book with a lighthearted look at verbs.
  2. Briefly review verbs, action verbs, irregular verbs, present tense and past tense verbs, and verbs matching their subjects.
  3. Go around the room and ask each student to name a verb, and then have them use it in a sentence.
  4. Play the pantomime verb game to continue the lesson. Create a set of action verb cards with at least one card per student. Then divide the class in half so there are two teams. Next have a student from one of the teams come up, one at a time, to the front of the class and draw a card from the stack of verb cards. The student must act out, or pantomime, the word on the card. Then have a student from the other team come up and act out the word he or she chooses. Place a time limit of one minute (or a time period of your choice) for each team to guess each of the words. Each team receives one point for every verb that it guesses. The team who ends up with the most points wins. (Some suggested words: argue, shake, grab, knock, wash, sing, jump, fall, clean, count, eat, run, kick, sleep, dig, drink).
  5. To teach verb and subject-verb agreement, write sentences, such as the following, on the board.
    • Devon always _______ the answers to the problems.
    • The dog and the cat ________outside.
    • Amy and her sister _________ to school yesterday.
    • The bird ________ overhead before landing on the ground.
    • The movie _______ for about two hours. Ask for volunteers to complete each sentence with a verb. Then have the students determine whether the verb is in present or past tense. Point out that, in some cases, verbs in either the present or past tense can fit in the sentence.
      (Possible answers: (1) knows, knew, solves, solved (2) sit, sat, wait, waited, (3) went, walked (4) flies, flew (5) lasted)
  6. Then play a subject-verb agreement game. Divide the class in half. Have one group write subjects and the other group write verbs (both active and inactive). One person from the first group stands and reads the subject. The first person in the second group stands and reads the subject along with the verb he has written. The students must confer and decide if the subject and verb agree. If they don’t, the students must make the necessary change and tell the class why they needed to make that change.
  7. As an ending activity, divide the class into groups of three. Have each group draw six subjects and six verbs from two separate bags filled with these two parts of speech. Then ask each group to write a story on any topic they choose using at least three of the words they drew from the verb bag and three of the nouns they drew from the noun bag. Tell them they can also illustrate their work using crayons, colored pencils, or colored markers. When the groups complete their stories, have volunteers read the stories to the class, citing the six nouns and six verbs they picked and the three nouns and the three verbs that they used.

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Assessment
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • 3 points: Students consistently worked effectively in small groups; were consistently able to identify action verbs, irregular verbs, present and past tense verbs; were consistently able to match verbs with subjects; were consistently able to create stories using verbs; and consistently understood how verbs, particularly action verbs, were effective in improving their writing.
  • 2 points: Students usually worked effectively in small groups; were usually able to identify action verbs, irregular verbs, present and past tense verbs; were usually able to match verbs with subjects; were usually able to create stories using verbs; and usually understood how action able to create stories using verbs; and consistently understood how verbs, particularly action verbs, were effective in improving their writing.
  • 1 point: Students rarely worked effectively in small groups; were rarely able to identify action verbs, irregular verbs, present and past tense verbs; were rarely able to match verbs with subjects; were rarely able to create stories using verbs; and rarely understood how verbs, particularly action verbs, were effective in improving their writing.

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Vocabulary
action verb
Definition:A verb that describes an act or shows action
Context:The horsegallopedaround the ring with his head held high.

altitude
Definition:A high location or area
Context:Brittany and Joseph had to climb for hours before reaching the altitude at the top of the mountain.

irregular verb
Definition:Any verb whose past tense is not formed by adding –d, –ed, or –ied to the present tense.
Context:"To go" is an irregular verb because the past tense of "go" is "went."

migration
Definition:Moving from place to place (particularly animals)
Context:Due to migration, some birds fly south for the winter.

past tense
Definition:A verb tense used to express an action or condition that occurred in the past
Context:Dave was the only member of his family who had red hair.

present tense
Definition:The verb tense expressing action in the present time
Context:Janelle is the president of her class and vice-president of the student council.

safari
Definition:A land journey, especially hunting or exploring in East Africa
Context:Would you like to see lions and tigers on a safari in Africa?

wildebeest
Definition:A large antelope; also known as a gnu
Context:It might be fascinating to see a large group of wildebeests.

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Print Resources
Cleary, Brian.To Root, To Toot, to Parachute, Lerner Group, 2000.
Rhyming text and attractive illustrations combine to offer substance about verbs in an engaging manner.

Collins, S. Harold,Verbs. Garlic Press, 1995.

Hopper, Vincent F.English Verbs (Barrons Verb Series). Barron's Educational Series, 2004.
This book contains more than 120 irregular verbs conjugated in all tenses.

Sunley, Laura.Fun with Grammar -75 Quick Activities and Games That Help Kids Learn About Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, and More, Scholastic, Inc., 2002. Verb Detectives is just one of the engaging games offered in this book.

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Academic Standards
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL’s Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K–12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visithttp://www.mcrel.org/compendium/browse.asp.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Language Arts: Viewing– Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
  • Language Arts: Writing: – Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process; uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
  • Language Arts: Reading– Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process
  • Language Arts: Grammar and Usage– Uses verbs in written compositions (e.g. verbs for a variety of situations, action words)
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association have developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching the English language arts. To view the standards online, go tohttp://www.ncte.org/about/over/standards/110846.htm.
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

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