Choose Your Verbs Wisely!

16 Jun

Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me posts an open ended writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.

As well as having a free writing activity activity to start our weekly workshop at The Writer’s Club, I’ve been trying to incorporate language games that highlight the skill we are currently reviewing. This game, focusing on word choice (verbs) reminds writers to choose the verb that best matches the action they are describing. Not all verbs are created equal! Writers need to give their readers the best possible chance to ‘catch’ the image or word picture they are creating. This game also allows the opportunity to review parts of speech and the role of the verb in a sentence.

How to Play:


Students could play this game individually but we created groups of 2 -3.


You are going to use the five following sentences. I gave a copy to each group but it would be just as easy to write them on the whiteboard as you go.


The mouse ate the cheese.

The cat moved across the lawn.

The door bell rung.

The waves moved onto the shore.

Tears ran down her cheeks.


If you write each sentence on the whiteboard as you go, it gives you the chance to single out the verb and any other parts of speech you may want to review.


Explain to your students that for each sentence, the group must replace the highlighted verb with another verb that best describes the action and creates the most effective word picture.

For example:

The mouse nibbled the cheese.



We scored our answers in the following way:

  • If the verb chosen was also used  by other groups, then each group scored one point.
  • If the group used a verb that was not used by other students (and worked well in the sentence), the group scored two points.
  • Special points were awarded to responses that really captured the action of the verb.



  • Allow students time to go back through their writing and highlight five verbs.
  • Read through each sentence again. Is this the best possible verb to describe the action in the sentence?
  • If not, choose another verb that works more effectively.


Happy Writing!

After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means it’s possible to tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out the range of storytelling and writing workshops n our website today! Workshops for secondary classes and Professional Development programs are also popular.

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