Lesson Plans: 04-WTG-C-NAR-S42-Revising with Strong Verbs
Title: 04-WTG-C-NAR-S42-Revising with Strong Verbs
Student Target: I can use strong, vivid verbs to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.
Materials: writer’s notebook; chart with examples/non-examples, markers, student generated list
of vivid verbs, Personal Words We Use Booklets
Vocabulary: strong verb, weak verb, vivid (action) verbs
Lesson/Activity: Connection: Review with students the different types of endings they have
learned, to leave the reader with a lasting impression. Remind them also of the
earlier work done with similes and metaphors. Tell students that we will use
strong vivid verbs to make our stories even more interesting to the reader.
“Writers, you are doing such an outstanding job with your endings. Some of you revised
your draft with a circular ending, while others ended with a lesson learned or a problem
solved. A few of you even tried ending with action, dialogue, and emotion. Recently, we
talked about how similes and metaphors add description to your stories and make them
fun to read. Today, we will continue making our stories interesting and fun to read by
using strong vivid verbs.”
Teach: Use examples and non-examples to show how strong, vivid verbs can
impact a sentence.
“Vivid Verbs are words that show the action in a sentence. They are words that you can
act out. For example: run, walk, sleep, march, and eat are words you can act out.
(Visually demonstrate these actions.) Not all verbs are alike. Some are more powerful
than others. We call these, strong verbs. Strong, vivid verbs add more information to a
sentence. Take a look at the sentences on the chart." (Read the pair of sentences out
loud and think aloud to show the difference between weak and strong, vivid verbs.)
The turtle went across the road.
The turtle strolled across the road.
"The verb in the first sentence is ‘went’, (Highlight ‘went’.) When I look at the second
sentence, I see that by using the stronger more vivid verb ‘strolled’, the author paints a
word picture in the reader’s mind. Take a look at the next set of sentences."
Gabby ran to her bike.
Gabby sprinted to her bike.
"In this next set, the vivid verb in the first sentence is ‘ran’, (Highlight the word ‘ran’.)
When I look at the second sentence, the author uses the word ‘sprinted’. In my mind, I
see Gabby moving like lightening to her bike. Weak verbs are words that have been
overused. They’re okay, but they don’t add excitement to the sentence. On the other
hand, strong verbs add information to the sentence. They help to paint a picture in the
reader’s mind. Whenever possible, it is better to show exactly what is happening using
strong, vivid verbs.”
Active Engagement: Have students read two sentences. Have students turn and
talk with their partner about how the stronger verb helps the sentence.
“Read the two sentences to yourself. Turn and talk to your partner about which sentence
has the stronger verb, and how that strong verb helps the sentence."
I hit the piñata.
I smashed the piñata.
(Give the students a minute and listen in on partner discussions.)
"Wow, I heard some great conversations. It’s true, ‘smashed’ is a much stronger, vivid
verb than ‘hit’, and sounds more exciting. Now, I am going to show you a sentence."
The dog ate the bone.
"Do you think ‘ate’ is a weak verb? Your job is to turn and talk to your partner about
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using a stronger verb to make this sentence sound better.” (Some sample words might
be: gnawed, munched, devoured, nibbled, bit, crunched, chewed.)
Link: Send students back to their seats to reread and revise adding strong,
vivid verbs to their drafts.
“Writers, as you go off and write today, reread your entire story. Look at each sentence
to see if the verb you have chosen is a strong, vivid verb or a weak verb. If you have
used a weak verb, cross it out, and replace it with a stronger verb that adds excitement
to your sentence.”
Mid-Workshop Share: Remind students to check for subject/verb agreement.
“When we are reading our sentences, it is important that they sound correct. For
example, I would not say, 'Mr. King swim in the water.' I would say, 'Mr. King swims in
the water.' We call this subject-verb agreement. In subject-verb agreement, singular
verbs usually end in ‘s’, but plural verbs usually do not. So as you are rereading, be sure
that your vivid verbs sound correct in your sentences. Make sure that singular subjects
have singular verbs and plural subjects have plural verbs.”
Wrap-up: After-the-Workshop Share: Gather the students at the meeting area with their
writer’s notebook. Compile a list of strong, vivid verbs that the students used in
their writing to be displayed in the classroom. They may also add them to their
Personal Words We Use Booklet.
“Writers, great job adding strong, vivid verbs to your writing. These words are so good,
that we don’t want to forget them. Let’s make a list to display in our classroom. We can
add to the list whenever we come across strong verbs. You may also add them to your
Personal Words We Use Booklet. This new reference will be a valuable writing resource
Daily Assessment: Observe writers’ behaviors through conferring with individuals and/or small
groups AND record teaching points used and taught.
Which part do you want to read to me?
I really like….because…
I have one suggestion to make.
Strategies : Oral Strategies,Use of Visuals
Standard/Benchmark: Florida Sunshine State FL Language Arts Standard (2006)
Florida Sunshine State Standards
The student will revise and refine the draft for clarity and effectiveness.
LA.22.214.171.124 creating precision and interest by expressing ideas vividly through varied language
techniques (e.g., imagery, simile, metaphor, sensory language) and modifying word choices using
resources and reference materials (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus); and
The student will edit and correct the draft for standard language conventions.
LA.126.96.36.199 present and past verb tense, noun-pronoun agreement, noun-verb agreement,
subjective and objective pronouns, demonstrative pronouns and conjunctions;
LA.188.8.131.52 subject/verb and noun/pronoun agreement in simple and compound sentences; and
Florida Sunshine State Standards
The student develops and demonstrates creative writing.
LA.184.108.40.206 write narratives based on real or imagined ideas, events, or observations that include
characters, setting, plot, sensory details, a logical sequence of events, and a context to enable the
reader to imagine the world of the event or experience, and
School Based Standard: - - -
Other During read aloud sessions, point out the strong, vivid verbs. Good action verb books
are: The Napping House, by Audrey Wood and Piggie Pie, by Marjorie Palantini.
Work stations may be set up to practice subject/verb agreement and strong vivid
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Homework: Tonight as you read, jot down a list of any strong, vivid verbs you come
across that you think may help you with future stories. You may add these to your
working list in your Personal Words We Use Booklet. (Optional)
Reteaching/Enrichment: Reteaching: Use small group instruction to practice subject/verb agreement using
sentence strips with examples and non-examples.
Enrichment: Look through literature to find strong, vivid verbs, and jot it down in your
notebook. Introduce subject/verb agreement with compound subjects.
Creator : Elementary Writing Administrator
File Attachments: My Personal Words We Use Booklet.pdf
Date Created : August 06, 2009
Date Modified : September 22, 2009
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