How to teach Verbs to Primary 1 English

Teaching Verbs to Primary 1: A Comprehensive Guide for Success

Here are twenty examples of activities for teaching verbs to a Primary 1 student:

  1. Storytelling: Read a story and ask the child to point out verbs whenever they hear one.
  2. Charades: Write various verbs on cards. Have the child pick a card and act out the verb while others guess it.
  3. Verb Hunt: Look for verbs in a favorite book or magazine and underline or highlight them.
  4. Action Songs: Sing action songs where children must perform the verbs they sing.
  5. Flashcards: Use flashcards with pictures and corresponding verbs.
  6. Role Play: Create a scenario for role play and ask the child to perform various actions (verbs).
  7. Verb Bingo: Make a bingo card with different verbs. Read out sentences and let the child mark the verb used.
  8. Verb Drawings: Have the child draw pictures of people or animals performing various actions (verbs).
  9. Animated Videos: Use animated videos that focus on teaching verbs.
  10. Verb Poster: Create a poster with the child using images and words depicting different verbs.
  11. Interactive Worksheets: Use interactive worksheets that require children to match verbs to pictures or fill in the blanks with correct verbs.
  12. Verb Diary: Encourage the child to write a daily diary entry, focusing on using different verbs each day.
  13. Guess the Verb: Describe an action and let the child guess the verb.
  14. Verb Memory Game: Create pairs of verb cards for a memory game.
  15. Online Games: Use educational online games focusing on verbs.
  16. Nature Walk: Go on a nature walk and describe actions of what they, animals, or plants are doing.
  17. Verb Pictionary: Play Pictionary with verbs.
  18. Verb Rhymes: Come up with simple rhymes that include a variety of verbs.
  19. Sorting Game: Divide verbs into categories (run, swim, think, wish) and have the child sort them.
  20. Verb Relay Race: Set up a relay race where the child has to perform the action written on a card before moving to the next stage of the race.

Remember, the goal is to make learning about verbs fun and engaging for the child, and these examples do exactly that by mixing up physical activities with more sedate, thoughtful ones.


  1. Understanding the Importance of Verbs
  2. Effective Strategies to Improve Verbs Teaching
  3. Learning Approaches for Teaching Verbs
  4. Preparation Tips for Teaching Verbs
  5. Addressing Potential Challenges
  6. Relevant International Resources for Parents and Teachers

What Are Verbs?

Verbs are essential parts of speech in English grammar, and they describe actions, events, or states of being. They tell us what someone or something does, does, or will do. Verbs are crucial in sentence construction as they help connect the subject with other sentence components. They can change form to express tense (past, present, future), voice (active, passive), mood (indicative, imperative, subjunctive), aspect (simple, progressive, perfect), and number (singular, plural). Examples of verbs include ‘run’, ‘jump’, ‘think’, ‘be’, ‘do’, and ‘have’. They form the backbone of a sentence and give life to our thoughts and ideas when we communicate.

All you need to know about Verbs:

Usage of Verbs in a Passage

Once upon a time, in a small village by the sea, lived a young girl named Lily. Every morning, she would wake up early and go to the shore to collect shells. One day, as the sun rose above the horizon, she saw something unusual on the sand. She ran towards it and found a beautiful, golden seashell. Lily picked it up and examined it closely. Suddenly, she noticed it started to glow! She gazed at it in awe as the seashell opened to reveal a tiny, sparkling fairy. The fairy spoke, “Thank you for finding my home, Lily. In return, I will grant you one wish.”

Lily thought for a moment, then smiled. “I wish for the happiness and well-being of my village,” she said. The fairy nodded, touched Lily’s hand with her wand, and her wish was granted. From that day forward, the village flourished, and everyone lived happily ever after.

In this passage, the bolded words are verbs that show the actions Lily is performing and the events that are happening. They give the story life and movement, showing us what’s happening rather than just telling us about it.

Let’s teach some verbs to a Primary 1 English student

The verbs chosen are common and often used in a child’s daily life, making them easier to understand and practice.

EatTo put food in the mouth and swallow it.Parent and child can pretend to eat imaginary fruits and name the action.
RunTo move swiftly on foot.Parent can ask the child to run in the park and describe the action.
SleepTo rest with eyes closed and mind unconscious.Before bed, parent can ask, “What are we going to do now?” Child should reply, “We are going to sleep.”
SwimTo move in water by moving the body.During a swim, the parent can say, “Look, you’re swimming!”
SingTo make musical sounds with the voice.Sing a song together, emphasizing the action, “We’re singing a song.”
JumpTo push oneself off a surface and into the air by using the muscles in one’s legs and feet.Parent and child can jump on a trampoline while saying, “We’re jumping!”
WriteTo form letters, words or symbols on a surface in order to communicate.During drawing time, parents can say, “Now we’re writing your name.”
DrawTo make a picture by marking a surface with a pencil, pen, etc.Parent can ask the child to draw a picture and say, “You’re drawing a house.”
LaughTo express happiness by making a sound from the mouth.Share a funny moment and say, “We’re laughing together.”
DanceTo move the body and feet to music.Play music and dance with your child, while saying, “We’re dancing.”
SitTo rest on the buttocks and the back of the thighs.During mealtime, parent can say, “Now, we’re sitting at the table.”
StandTo be in an upright position on the feet.Ask your child to stand up and say, “Now, you’re standing.”
ReadTo look at words or symbols and understand what they mean.Parent can say, “Now, we’re reading your favorite book.”
PlayTo engage in activity for enjoyment.Play a game and say, “We’re playing a board game.”
ClimbTo go up, across, or down something using the feet and often the hands.Parent can say, “You’re climbing the stairs.” during a visit to a playground.
ListenTo pay attention to sound.Parent can say, “We’re listening to music.”
CookTo prepare food by heating it.While preparing a meal, parent can say, “We’re cooking dinner.”
DrinkTo take a liquid into the mouth and swallow it.Parent can say, “You’re drinking your milk.” during mealtime.
WaveTo move your hand to say hello or goodbye.Parent can say, “Wave your hand and say goodbye.”
SmileTo make a happy or friendly expression by lifting the corners of your mouth.Parent can say, “You’re smiling because you’re happy.”

Understanding the Importance of Verbs

Teaching verbs to Primary 1 students can often be challenging yet rewarding. Verbs are integral to a child’s linguistic development and are crucial to expressing actions, events, or states of being. Comprehending and using verbs correctly helps children construct meaningful and grammatically correct sentences. This fosters their ability to effectively communicate their thoughts, emotions, and ideas.

Effective Strategies to Improve Verb Teaching

As we delve into improving how we teach verbs, incorporating dynamic, interactive techniques can make learning fun and engaging for young learners.

1. Introduce Verbs Through Storytelling: Narrating stories that are rich in verbs can help children understand the concept in a relatable context. Encourage children to identify the verbs used in the story and discuss their meanings.

2. Use Visual Aids: Visual learning tools such as flashcards, charts, and posters with images representing various actions can stimulate visual memory and reinforce learning.

3. Use Technology: Digital platforms offer interactive games and quizzes, which can be excellent teaching aids. Apps like Grammaropolis provide an entertaining way to teach grammar concepts, including verbs.

Learning Approaches for Teaching Verbs

1. Active Learning: Active learning involves learning by doing. Create an environment where students can act out the verbs. This kinesthetic approach facilitates a deeper understanding of the concept.

2. Group Learning: Divide students into small groups, let them create sentences using specific verbs, and share them with the class. Group learning promotes social interaction and collective problem-solving.

Preparation Tips for Teaching Verbs

Effective teaching of verbs requires thoughtful preparation. Here are some tips:

1. Understand Your Students: Assess the students’ current knowledge of verbs. This will provide a baseline from which to progress and allow you to tailor your teaching to their needs.

2. Organize Your Material: Plan lessons with an increasing level of complexity, starting from simple verbs and gradually moving to complex ones.

3. Practice Makes Perfect: Regularly revise previous lessons to reinforce the concepts. Encourage students to practice using verbs in different sentences.

Addressing Potential Challenges

You may need some help teaching verbs despite the best intentions and strategies. Here are potential challenges and ways to overcome them:

1. Difficulty in Understanding Abstract Verbs: Students often find it difficult to comprehend abstract verbs that denote feelings or thoughts. Use real-life examples or stories to illustrate these verbs.

2. Misuse of Tenses: Primary 1 students might confuse the past, present, and future tenses of verbs. Regular practice and the use of engaging activities can help students understand and use tenses correctly.

Relevant International Resources for Parents and Teachers

Here are some handy international online resources to support you in teaching verbs to Primary 1 students:

  1. BBC Bitesize: This resource offers interactive games and lessons on verbs.
  2. Here, you’ll find games that make learning about verbs fun and interactive.
  3. ESL Kids Stuff: Offers lesson plans and worksheets on verbs suitable for young learners.

Teaching verbs to Primary 1 students is critical in their language development journey. The key is to make the learning process fun, interactive, and relatable. With the right strategies, resources, and perseverance, you can successfully teach verbs and set the foundation for practical communication skills in your students. Find out more how a Primary 1 English Tutor can help:

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