Action words for kids | pictures, videos & teaching tips
Action words for kids - flashcard - walk
Action words for kindergarten kids
An action word (verb) tell us what someone or something does. Typically children in pre-school or kindergarten start off by learning 'naming words'. These are words that name a person, animal, place or thing. For example words like 'John', 'cat', 'London' and 'table' are naming words. Once kids have learnt a few common naming words, they need to learn some action words. Examples of action words that kids should learn include words like, 'walk', 'run', 'jump', 'eat', etc. Action words can be taught to kids in many interesting ways with the help of pictures, videos, flashcards, worksheets and activities.
Action words with pictures for kids
Teaching action words to kindergarten kids
Of course the first step is to teach what 'action' means, i.e. you have to introduce the word 'action'. You can explain that action means doing. You can show the kids some simple actions to start with.
You should start with the actions that small kids actually do in their everyday life, for example walk, run, jump, etc. Children have to understand that only the words that describe something they 'do' are action words, other words are not.
Once you have taught them the concept of action words and a few common action words, you can have a small activity in which you say a list of a few words, some action words and some non-action words. Ask the kids to identify which are the action words.
Teaching action words to kids - some ideas
1. Play an action word game, like dumb charades in your class. Call on one child and whisper an action word to her. She has to act out the word (ex: walk, sing, talk, etc.) silently. The others have to guess which word it is from her action.
2. If your kids like to draw, you can tell an action word and ask them to draw out a representation of the word. They need not draw very great and artistic pictures, even simple stick figures will do - it's only to represent the action.
3. Use action word flashcards. On one side of the card is the word, on the other side a picture depicting the word. Show the picture to the children and ask them to guess the word. Then show them words and ask them to act out the words. You can use the flashcards in many other ways too. You can make two groups of children - one group has to show any flashcard, the other one has to act out the word. Or you can place all the cards (picture side up) on the table, and say any action word - children have to pick up the right card. Or place the cards - word side up, and act out any word, children have to recognize the action, recall the word and identify and pick up the right card.
4. Bring some old children's books and ask children to point out to the action words they know in the text in these pages. If the books are disposable, they can be asked to underline the action words. Then they may be asked to say out each word and act it out.
5. Do the same as in point 4 above, but ask them to identify the action shown in the pictures. If possible they can cut out pictures of action words from old, disposable books or magazines and make a chart of action words.
6. Cut out pictures showing actions from old magazines or papers and display them to the children. Ask them to identify the action, i.e. say the word for the action.
7. Make each day a particular action word day. For example, say tomorrow will be a 'jump' day. Ask kids to bring whatever pictures they can from old magazines or papers in their house that show 'jump'. Put up a big board on the wall of the classroom and stick all the pictures there. Thus kids will be able to see many different pictures of 'jump' in one place. Similarly each day can be for a different word.
8. Ask children to enact their day (or morning or previous day) whilst standing in one place (in front of the classroom). For example, they can show silent actions of getting out of bed, washing, brushing, bathing, eating (breakfast), drinking (milk), walking (to school), etc. Of course other kids can guess at the word for each action so depicted.
9. Show children action word videos - educational videos depicting various action words. This page has some action word videos below - you can use these to depict the words. Sometimes videos may be more powerful than simple pictures, particularly for showing actions!
10. Action word worksheets can be a good way to practise recognizing and writing out action words. The action word worksheets can have activities like matching the action picture to the action word, identifying the right picture for a given action word, identifying the right word for a give action picture, writing out the action word for a given picture, and so on.
What action words to teach?
You should start with common actions children will already be familiar with and practise those words first. For a list of common action words for kindergarten kids scroll down below the videos on this page. This is only a suggested list, by no means complete. Please add / remove words based on your circumstances.
Action words for kids
Action word flashcards
As mentioned above action word flashcards are a great way to teach action words. Where to get the flashcards? They are quite easily available, you can get them in a book store specializing in educational aids for kids. You can order them online. You can even make them yourself! But I think they would be quite useful in teaching action words.
Action words for kids video
More action words for kids video
Still more action words for kids - video
List of action verbs for kids
Here is a list of action verbs for kids - preschool / kindergarten kids, in no particular order. It is by no means a complete list, but a list of common action words you could start with.
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