Vocabulary games such as verb charades are a fun and high-energy way to build vocabularies, expand knowledge of synonyms and reinforce comprehension skills. This is a great game to play daily for 10 minutes, or when you have some free time.
1) What is a Verb?
To get in the mindset for verb charades, first we need to make sure we know what exactly a verb is. Ask What is a verb? to check prior knowledge. Then reinforce/explain that a verb is word that describes an action, occurence or state of being. Give some examples. BBC Bitesize has an excellent ‘What is a verb?’ page with a fantastic video explanation, written examples, a ‘highlight the verbs’ interactive challenge and a quiz to check basic understanding of verbs, watch the video and play here:
BBC Bitesize link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zrqqtfr/articles/zpxhdxs
2) Spot the Verbs
This is a really fun and speedy challenge and always involves much hilarity and giggling! Be ready with a pencil/pen and paper. Watch the video below and write down as many verbs as you can see (e.g. chop, bubble, mix, throw etc.)! Whoever has the most at the end of the video, wins! Share your verbs with each other and make sure they are all verbs – address any misconceptions. You may also notice that some verbs will be written in different tenses (e.g. mix or mixing) which you may want to discuss at this point. What’s the difference? How would you use each in a sentence?
The video starts off fairly slowly but, as the music kicks in, it gets faster and faster… funnier and funnier!
3) Verb Charades
Now that everyone has a really good understanding of what verbs are and a bank of different examples, use the template below (or just use scraps of paper) to write a number of verbs down (only one verb per piece of paper). Pop them in a hat or bowl and mix them up.
Take it in turns to choose a card. Each player has 30 seconds to act out as many verbs as they can – once their word has been guessed correctly, they can move on. You may like to include some rules (e.g. you can only ‘skip’ twice). If you have four or more players, you may wish to split into two teams and keep a running tally to see who wins.
Not only is this game lots of fun, it also builds vocabulary in a number of ways – children learn new words, see the meaning ‘in action’ as someone acts it out and they will also hear what other people are guessing the action might be (synonyms for the same word). A few regular games of this and you will see their vocabulary soar!
To keep the game fresh, you should change the verbs each time. This may require use of a thesaurus to seek out synonyms when writing your verb cards at the start of each new game.
4) Add Adverbs
Adding adverbs is a great way to make it a bit more challenging for slightly older children and, again, it’s a brilliant way to keep expanding their vocab.
To recap on what an adverb is, visit the BBC Bitesize site once more:
If you’re up for a challenge, you may start to use adverbs as well as verbs. Play the game in the same way, but keep one bowl for your adverb cards and one for verb cards. The player who is acting choses one from each bowl so that they have to act out some funny combinations! For example, slowly swimming or chaotically dancing.
Again, this is a BRILLIANT way of building vocabulary and lots of fun for all the family (or class)! Enjoy!
…Share and Connect!
We’d love to hear whether or not you enjoyed playing verb charades! You can either comment in the box below or post a photo on social media (you can find me on Facebook and Twitter) using the hashtag #literacywithmissp
Miss P x