Every English teacher has a sure-fire revision tip that makes developing writers dig down deep and revise initial drafts. One of my favorites involves reducing the number of “to be verbs”: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, and been.
But wait a minute… Didn't Shakespeare say "To be, or not to be: that is the question:"? He used three "to be" verbs right there! If it’s good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me. True, but Will used only six more "to be" verbs in Hamlet's next 34 lines. My goals are to convince teachers to help their students reduce, not eliminate the “to be” verbs, and so write with greater precision and purpose. There. I just used a “to be” verb. Feeling better?
Check out my five-step strategy to eliminate “to be” verbs
in this free lesson download. The focus of this lesson is on converting nouns and adjectives into vivid, “show me” verbs. You’ll get the Standards, D.O.K. levels, behavioral objectives, step by step lesson plan with some helpful links, student worksheet with practice and a formative assessment, plus the answer page. Please follow me if the lesson and worksheet will work for your students and I'll post more of these.
This worksheet helps you teach students how to convert nouns to _ify verbs in order to eliminate "to be" verbs in their writing. Just one of the great grammar in the writing context skill lessons found in my Teaching Essay Strategies
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