Today's Tip for Families


Play the Name That Action Game

"He walked into the room." "He strutted into the room." "He crept into the room."

All three of these sentences mean roughly the same thing. Somebody came into a room. But the action words—walked, strutted and crept—create a very different picture. Helping students think about the action word that best paints a picture is one way to help them become better writers.

The Name That Action game is a fun way to do this. And it's good for those days when you and your child are cooped up indoors.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Collect small slips of paper. On each one, write a verb that describes a precise action. Here are some to get you started: skip, hop, stomp, tiptoe, limp, crawl. You might take a day or two to come up with your list.
  2. The first player draws a slip of paper, then acts out the action as well as possible.
  3. The other player(s) try to guess the word. Whoever guesses the word gets to go next.

As your child gets older, the words can get harder. How would your child show that someone strolled into the room? How about bursting into the room?

When your child is writing, offer a reminder of this game. Instead of writing, "he said," brainstorm together about other words that would describe that action. Did he whisper? Snarl? Shout? Choosing the right descriptive verb will help your child's writing really come alive.

Brought to you by:

Cambridge City Schools
Title I Program

[School Success Ideas for Families]

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