What are being verbs?
Being verbs tell us what a noun is or what a noun is doing. For example, she is a doctor. We can use adjectives with being verbs. For example, the dress is pink. We can also use action verbs with being verbs. For example, the zebra is running. Using a being verb with an action verb creates a progressive verb tense. If you have older students, this might be helpful information, but most elementary students do not need to know about the progressive verb tenses as long as they can use them in their writing. Notice that the action verb after a being verb ends in -ing.
There are eight being verbs. We are going to wait to discuss a few of them until we learn about helping verbs. Here are the being verbs students will use in this lesson.
Here is a video to help your students understand being verbs.
After introducing being verbs to your students, you will want to show them examples. When looking at example sentences, point out the capitalized first letter, spacing between words, and ending punctuation. Speaking of ending punctuation. I recommend sticking with periods until you can give a lesson on the other types of ending punctuation.
This should be a quick part of the lesson. You can ask students what they notice but quickly point out the important parts of the sentence. We recommend teaching being verbs + adjectives and being verbs + action verbs in two different lessons. In the lesson with adjectives, you will want to point out that we use the same adjectives we used to describe nouns in the last lesson after being verbs. You may also want to point out that we can use nouns in place of adjectives as well. For example, my mom is a teacher.
In the lesson on action verbs, you will want them to notice that the action verb ends in -ing. A being verb + an action verb means that the noun was doing the action continuously either in the past, present, or future. You show when the action is happening using the being verb.
Being Verbs Pictures
You can show these five pictures to your students to help them brainstorm being verbs + adjectives and being verbs + action verbs. Give students about thirty seconds to think about each picture. Then, have them share with a partner. Finally, collect three to five ideas per picture to record in a class anchor chart.
These ideas will get you started teaching your being verb lessons, but we have printable resources that will make a huge difference. Luckily, my team at For the Love has you covered! You can get all of these resources to make planning and teaching a breeze!
Word List: A list of words for the lesson for when your mind goes blank while brainstorming.
Word Chart: A tool for students to organize words they will use to write sentences. Students record words from brainstorming on their word charts, so when they write sentences, they can focus their attention on the mechanics and syntax of the sentence instead of coming up with new ideas. Word charts are the perfect place to integrate social studies and science lessons into writing.
Example Sentences: A list of example sentences that fit the purpose of the lesson. You can use these to build anchor charts, differentiate instruction or practice for students, or clarify your own understanding of the topic.
Sentence Practice: Students will use the words from their word charts to write complete sentences. The sentence practice pages have more suggestion words as well as reminders about the mechanics of a complete sentence. Students who do not need the support of the handwriting lines can write on a piece of notebook paper, or you can give them the alternate writing paper. It does not have the specific lesson information on it.
You can get the lesson on nouns at Teachers Pay Teachers.
You can access all of the parts of our Learning to Write Complete Sentences program here: