Your students will have great fun singing this song. It is an original song that has an upbeat, modern pop style that builds in volume and force throughout the song to an exciting end.
This is a great song to use as a starter activity for several days to engage your students at the start of your language arts lesson. It will focus your students on what they are to learn for the lesson and provide cohesion from day to day during a unit on verbs. Through the song, your students will learn to read, spell, and comprehend common action verbs and the forms of to be. Included with the song are a lyrics sheet, key words to learn sheet, and worksheets on usage and definitions.
My students have experienced smiles and laughter singing this song and it has helped them to learn about verbs. They particularly enjoy the challenge of singing the two verses. This motivates them to put in a great deal of effort at school and at home to learn to read all of the verbs.
Verbs! – Lesson Plans
The song is designed to be sung as an Opening Activity for the language arts lesson each day over a week or more. It is very effective at grabbing the attention of the children and focusing them on the study of verbs. You should spend 3 to 5 minutes on the song each day, building towards the students singing it on their own. You should either sing the song on your own loud and proud or sing out loud and proud along with the recording of me as you teach it to your students. It is important for you to project a sense of confidence in singing and that it is fun for you regardless of your thoughts on the quality of your voice. This shows your students that it is OK for them to sing out as well. Assure reluctant students that they will learn to sing better and better the more they sing. Most, or all, of the girls in your class will sing right from the first day, however some of the boys will hold back just listening to evaluate whether it is OK to sing. Just give them a few days and they will be singing also. Please see the notes below on ways to encourage reluctant singers. By the third or fourth song that you sing in the year, every child will sing right from the first day. Complement their singing regularly.
I intentionally create my songs to be sung a cappella by the children and they are specifically designed to be easy to sing, catchy, and engaging. This works great every year. The kids enjoy that they are making the music rather than just singing along to a fully produced recording. My songs are specially designed to be easy for students to learn and sing while not sounding like simple children's nursery rhymes. They enjoy that the songs sound like "real" songs. I vary the style of each song to include those from throughout the 20th century up till today. During transitions and free time during the week, I play songs by famous artists that are similar to that week's song. This song is in the style of pop/rock. You can hear that Barry Gibb crept into my mind while I was writing it.
Verbs! - Implementation Guide
Always have the lyrics in front of the students projected on the board whenever they sing. If you do not have the equipment to do so, each student needs to have a paper copy of the song. One of the main intents of singing the song is to help the students to learn the key vocabulary, how to read, and how to spell, so you want them to be reading while singing rather than trying to listen and memorize the song. The song provides an effective, fun focus activity.
Day 1 – Sing only the first two sections of the song which are the introduction. Run through this a few times and let the kids know that they will learn more tomorrow.
Ask, “Who wants a special job as a percussionist?” and choose a few children to stand up front to perform the percussion in the second section. This is an excellent way to pull in reluctant singers. Have them use drum sticks, percussion sticks that you borrow from the music teacher, two pencils, a drum, slap their thighs, or use their voice. Choose students for this job each day.
Day 2 – Review singing the first two sections. Then, add sections 3 And 4. Part of the attraction of the song is the great challenge of singing the streams of verbs in the verses. Trying to sing this will bring smiles and laughter. Tell your students that they will compete on Friday (or whatever day you choose) to see who can sing the verses the best to win a prize such as ice cream, candy bar, etc. This will further aid in drawing in your reluctant singers.
Day 3 and on – Sing through the entire song a couple of times giving some focus on how to get out all the verbs in the two verses. Whenever the children seem ready, ask, “Who wants to try singing a verse as a solo, duo, or trio?”
If you have an amp and microphone you can use this for kids singing a solo. This will result in plenty of volunteers. The students will also enjoy it if you record them singing the song and play it back to them.
It is helpful to give a copy of the Verbs! List to each student. Taping it to each student’s desk for the week works well. Also, give each student a copy of the song on Day 2 so they can take it home to share with their parents and practice trying to sing all the verbs.
Start weaning them off the recording of me singing and/or of you singing by decreasing the volume as the students show that they are capable of carrying the song themselves. This usually starts during the 3rd or 4th day.
1. What is missing from the four words walkin’, dancin’, jumpin’, and runnin’?
2. Which verbs are present tense, past tense, and future tense?
3. Which verbs are forms of to be?
4. Which verbs involve using your head?
5. Which verbs involve using your whole body?
6. Have the students act out the action verbs as you call them out one at a time.
Then, have the students choose one of the verbs to draw a picture of themselves engaged in that action. Beneath the picture, the students can write sentences describing what they are doing, or they can use it as a jumping off point to write a short story.
7. Connection to Music Instruction – Discuss dynamics. The song begins quietly at mp. Then, it builds in volume and force throughout the song until ff.
mp -- mezzo piano medium soft
mf -- mezzo forte medium loud
f -- forte loud
ff -- fortissimo very loud
8. Included Worksheet: Define Me: Action Verbs
9. Included Worksheet: Verbs! Usage