Adapted Verb Lesson for 5th Grade Students

By the 5th grade, most students know the basics of verbs and other parts of speech, but often use a limited vocabulary when writing. When you teach your 5th grader about word choice, you may want to begin with adapted verb lessons. Read on to find out more.

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Verb Lessons and Resources

It's likely that the English/language arts curriculum at your child's school is based on the Common Core State Standards for language, writing and reading. In the 5th grade, verb lessons are typically applied directly to both reading and writing. Adapted verb lessons at home can often be quite helpful.

There are many verb lessons that you can give your child at home, as well as a wide variety of helpful grammar resources. The Internet can be a solid resource for 5th grade verb lessons and exercises. For example, '' is a free website that offers numerous games that can help your child with verb use. The object of one such game, 'Grammar Gorillas', is to pick different parts of speech out of sentences.

Synonym Exercise

Begin your lesson by writing the word 'said' on a whiteboard or simply on a piece of paper. Ask your child what that verb means and if it displays any emotion or information about how the speaker sounds. Then write down the word 'howled'. Ask your child the same questions. Your child will probably be able to identify that 'howled' expresses specific emotions.

Next, ask your child to come up with as many different synonyms for 'said' as possible. Compile all of his or her suggestions onto one poster and hang it somewhere in your home. This lesson can help your child to see verbs as more than just a part of speech. You can repeat the lesson with other verbs, like 'go', which will help your child begin to understand how verbs can be adapted to fit the mood of any text.

Replacing Verbs

Another exercise that can help your child involves having him or her replace verbs with more descriptive terms. Give your child a passage that includes a number of simple, non-descriptive verbs. Underline them and have your child replace them with more colorful terms. For example, your child could replace the verb 'throw' with 'hurl' or 'toss'. Have a discussion with your child about how his or her changes affect the meaning and tone of the passage.

Tense Exercise

A great way to help your child adapt verbs is by shifting tense from present to past to future. Give your child a sentence, such as 'She runs to the store'. Have your child write the sentence in past tense and then future tense and circle the verb each time.

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