For these lessons, we'll use Kites Sail High by Ruth Heller. This bright, colorful book is an amazingly thorough coverage of verbs. Following is a step-by-step outline of the topics covered. I'll upload pictures of children's main lesson books for each topic as they are completed.
#1 What is a verb? In Language of God, Level E, Christine Schintgen defines a verb as "the action word and the key word of the sentence. The verb gives meaning and focus to all the other words in the sentence...You might even say that the verb is like the 'soul' of the sentence; just as the soul animates the body, so the verb gives life and form to the sentence. If the verb is missing, the sentence is dead." I really think this is the finest definition of a part of speech I've ever read. I keep applying the definition in different situations and it always works. For this lesson, the children used pictures of simple verbs in their books.
#2 Vigorous Verbs: These are verbs of lively action. Sometimes they even sound a bit like their meanings. We had a good time brainstorming words to illustrate the concept of "vigorous verbs."Most obvious are verbs of activity: play, speak, run, read, swim, stretch, sing, kick, jump, and drive. Verbs which indicate a change of state are vigorous verbs: become, change, strengthen, ripen,grow, deteriorate, die, go, come, fall. Also include verbs of sensation: hurt, ache, sting, smart, itch.
#3 Verbs of less action: These are the quiet verbs. For example, there are verbs of cognition: forget, know, perceive, prefer,remember, want, understand. These verbs have less to do with action since they involve mental processes. Also consider verbs of perception:feel, hear,see, smell, taste . There are verbs of relation: consist of, own, have, seem, resemble.
#4 Linking Verbs: these are the verbs of being. We focus on verbs that express the simple action of being or becoming.
#5 Helping or auxiliary verbs: These link to other verbs. Here is a helpful little story to cue memorizing helping verbs.
#6 Irregular past tenses: Most verbs change their tenses by adding "-ed." But some do not. Some verbs don't change at all (i.e. "cut"). Some verbs change their vowels (get-got). Some verbs change completely (catch becomes caught). The three most important irregular verbs are be, have and do.Be takes on different forms depending on the subject.
Have becomes had and do becomes did. A chart of the common irregular verbs should be completed and memorized. Here is an online exercise.
#7 Regular past tenses: These should be a breeze after lesson #6:-)
#8 The imperative mood: In this mood, verbs make a request or give a command. Often, the subject is dropped.
#9 Indicative mood: This is the way verbs are usually used in English. They state a fact or ask a question. Write and illustrate some "regular ol' verb" sentences.
#10 Subjunctive mood: A verb is in the subjunctive mood when it expresses emotion, wishing, doubt, or fiction. It is most often found in a clause beginning with the word if. The subjunctive mood is expressed in clauses expressing a doubt, a wish a regret, a proposal, or a demand. The following words usually are followed by the subjunctive. Create sentences and pictures for each of them: ask, demand, determine, insist, move, order, pray, prefer, recommend, regret, request, require, suggest, and wish.
REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE: The subjunctive mood of the verb to be is be in the present tense and were in the past tense, regardless of what the subject is.
#11 The voice of the verb: The passive voice of a verb means the form of the verb used when the subject is being acted upon rather than doing something. The active voice of a verb simply means the form of the verb used when the subject is the doer of the action. When writing, it is usually best to use the active voice because it is clearer and more direct. Practice writing sentences in both voices. Pay particular attention to voice in narrations this week and change some passive sentences to active ones.
#12 There is a two-page spread of lots of verbs in sentence on near the end of the book. Create your own two page spread of an illustrated sentence with lots of verbs.
#13 Make a chart of verb contractions. Practice with Montessori Lori.