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State of Being Verb Chant

State of Being Verb Chant
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This is a military style call and response chant to help students memorize state of being verbs (helping verbs, linking verbs, whatever your grammar text calls them). I find my students have a hard time seeing these as verbs because they automatically think verb = action. I try to train them to think of the verb as the engine of the sentence.

I adapted a common military chant to make it a little more fun to do the memorization task. I have them highlight the state of being verbs in the chant. I demonstrate with me as the drill sergeant and a puppet (my raven, Edgar) as the company.

Then we practice together with me as the drill sergeant and the class as the company. As they get familiar with it, I let students take over the drill sergeant role.

I use this with a seventh grade middle school class. They really enjoy it - especially when I take them outside to practice so that they can shout as loudly as they like.

When they tell me, "Miss! That stupid chant was stuck in my head all night!" I smile and tell them that means my plan is working!

It does include a response of "Heck no!" to the sergeant's question, "Are these action verbs?" Perhaps in some schools and districts, this might be delicate?

Anyway, I hope it helps your students.


Sally Rauber

State of Being Verb Chant by Sally Rauber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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1 page
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