Lessons on Helping Verbs
As the name suggests, helping verbs, also known as auxiliary verbs, help add meaning to main verbs. Unlike main verbs, which show action and can be used alone in a sentence, helping verbs show no action. Teach your students helping verbs through interesting activities to ensure comprehension of these important parts of grammar.
Helping Verb Song
Use familiar tune of "Jingle Bells" to teach students the helping verbs.
"Helping verbs, helping verbs,
There are 23.
Am, is, are, was, and were
Being, been and be.
Have, has, had
Do, does, did
Shall, will, should and would.
There are five more helping verbs,
May, might, must, can, could."
Encourage your students to sing the tune repeatedly to commit the names of the helping verbs to their memories.
Name the Helping Verb
Play a game that requires students to identify the helping verbs in given sentences. On the board, print two lists of basic sentences that each contain a helping verb. Divide the class into two separate teams and instruct the teams to stand in single-file lines near the board. The first player on each team has to read the first sentence and underline the helping verb. If a player is unable to identify a helping verb in the sentence, she must step to the back of the line and allow the next player to go. The first team to correctly underline all of the helping verbs in the sentences wins the game.
Helping Verbs in Sentences
Have your students create sentences that contain helping verbs. Write basic sentences on the board that can be enhanced by adding helping verbs to them; for example, "I go to the store." Invite students to add helping verbs to change or enhance the meaning of the sentence. In the given example, students can add the helping verbs "might" or "must" to enhance the meaning of the sentence.
Highlighting Helping Verbs
In this activity, students highlight helping verbs in a text. Provide students with photocopies of short stories, paragraphs or passages and provide them with highlighters. Instruct students to read through the text and have them highlight all of the helping verbs that they see. Once all students have completed the activity, review the helping verbs in the text. Alternatively, you could turn the activity into a competition by having students race to highlight the helping verbs in the text and the first student to complete the task wins.