Activities to Teach Students to Identify Helping Verbs

Helping verbs, also known as auxiliary verbs, play an important role in the English language. They are used to form different verb tenses, to emphasize action or to add to the meaning of the main verb in a sentence. Helping verbs can be tricky for students to identify, as they often appear before the main verb and can be easily mistaken for prepositions or adverbs. Here are some fun and engaging activities to help your students master the identification of helping verbs.

1. Helping Verb Bingo:

Create a bingo card with different helping verbs in each square. For example, could, would, should, might etc. Read out sentences that contain these helping verbs and students can check off the corresponding square on their bingo card. The first one to check off a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line wins the game.

2. Helping Verb Scavenger Hunt:

In this fun activity, students go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom or school to find sentences that contain helping verbs. They can either write the sentences down or take a picture with their phone. When they return to the classroom, they can share their sentences with the rest of the class and identify the helping verb in each sentence.

3. Helping Verb Charades:

Write different sentences on slips of paper, which include helping verbs. Students have to act out the sentence without speaking, and their classmates have to guess the helping verb in the sentence. This activity helps students to recognize the role of the helping verb in a sentence and reinforces their understanding of verb tenses.

4. Helping Verb Relay Race:

Create two teams of students and place a set of sentence strips on one side of the room and an empty box on the other side. One member of each team runs to the sentence strip, identifies the helping verb in the sentence, and runs back to tag the next person in line. The team that completes the relay race first wins the game.

5. Helping Verb Grammar Jeopardy:

Create a Jeopardy game that includes questions about helping verbs such as “What is a helping verb?”, “What are the different types of helping verbs?” or “What is the function of helping verbs in a sentence?”. This activity can be done as a whole-class or in small groups and helps students to review and consolidate their understanding of helping verbs.

In conclusion, helping verbs can be tricky to identify, but these fun and engaging activities can help make the learning process more enjoyable for your students. By incorporating these activities into your lesson plan, you can help your students to master the identification of helping verbs and improve their overall understanding of grammar.

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