Identifying Action Verbs

Contributor: Melissa LaRusso. Lesson ID: 10442

Lights! Camera! Verbs! Don't you mean, Action? Verbs are words that show action, or what a subject does. Popping balloons is an action and a game you play to learn about verbs in this action lesson!


English / Language Arts, Grammar

English / Language Arts
learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


How would you describe the girl's actions in this photograph? Is she walking, running, jogging, or dancing through the field with her balloons?

A verb is a word used to express action or being.  

Most verbs express action. The following list of verbs may tell about somebody's actions, such as a child:

  • dances 
  • runs 
  • dreams 
  • writes 
  • sings 
  • jumps
  • studies 

Can you think of any verbs to add to this list?

  • The child writes his name. The word writes in this sentence is a verb that tells what the child does. 

Your turnTry using one of the verbs listed above in a sentence. Say your sentence aloud or write the sentence and emphasize the verb that describes the action.

Think about why the verb in the sentence is important. The verb describes the action!

Every sentence must have a verb.  A verb can also be the only word in a sentence.  

  • Run. Run is a sentence because the subject (you) is implied. 

Look at the following groups of words. Sort them into two categories. Label the categories as sentences and non-sentences or phrases. You can fold a piece of paper in half and write the sentences on one side and the phrases (non-sentences) on the other side:

  • The clock ticks. 
  • Whispers of the audience 
  • The hen cackled. 
  • Sing. 
  • The hen in the barn 
  • Jerome whispered. 
  • Go! 
  • The clock on the wall

Compare the two categories to notice how the verbs tell the action in the sentences. The non-sentences are missing the action or the verb. Are you wondering how this information may help you as a reader or writer? Venture into the Got It! section to learn more.

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