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Comic Strip Activity: Teaching Verbs

Grade: 1st

Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.1, Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


  • Comic Strip Template (Find a free comic book template here) or blank copy paper for students to make their own comic strip layout
  • Coloring tools
  • Writing tools


By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Provide a simple definition of a "verb" in their own words
  2. Point out a verb in a sentence
  3. To be able to complete sentences using verbs

This lesson will be a simple introduction to verb usage focusing on action verbs. In a future lesson, you can expand attention to helping and linking verbs and verb agreements.

Benefits of Activity: 

The comic strip activity combines creativity with learning sentence structure, parts of speech in the English language, and collaboration with peers. Throughout the activity, students will be engaged with the lesson and tie together knowledge of English grammar in a unique and fun way they will remember. 


Welcome class and introduce the subject with an introductory sentence like, "Everyone, stand up. Wave to the person next to you. Okay, you can sit down now. See how you did all those actions just now? You stood, waved, and sat. These words are all things we can do. These types of action words are called verbs."


  • "Do you know what a verb is?" (Allow a moment for a few students to answer).
  • Introduce the definition of verbs and, if you prefer, show a video explaining verbs.
    • Verb: A part of speech; words that name an action or describe a state of being.


Introduce the Comic Strip Activity to teach verbs.

  1. After students understand that a verb describes what the subject of the sentence does, hand out the needed materials.
  2. Organize students into small groups (so students can practice and help each other for the first half of this activity). 
  3. Instruct students to fill in the dialogue bubbles however they'd like, being sure to use verbs in their dialogue at least once in each square.
  4. Allow students time to fill out comic strips, keeping an eye on the clock to allow adequate time for review.

Examples of What You Can Say:

"Now, we will spend the rest of our time putting our verb knowledge into practice!"

"Look at this comic strip. (Show an example of a comic you have made or found online). A good comic strip tells a story with pictures and a little bit of dialogue or captions."

"Together, we will make up characters and draw them in the boxes. You can then choose to create a dialogue or a caption. You must use at least one verb per box on your page. Let's go over these two examples."

  • Dialogue:
    • "Dialogue is what your character says to another character, "Hey, stop running thief!" 
    • (Draw your example for the class to see on your own blank comic strip page.) 
    • "What is the verb in this sentence?" (Have a student answer.)
    • "Running"
  • Captions:
    • "Captions can set up the scene or introduce a new character."
    • "For example, "Super Sally watched over her city from her secret hideout." 
    • (Draw your example for the class to see on your own blank comic strip page.) 
    • "What is the verb in this sentence?" (Have a student answer.)
    • "Watched"

"Now it is your turn to create a comic using verbs! Work with your classmates to create an engaging comic strip the class can keep as a study guide for verbs." (Make sure you walk around the class to answer questions and encourage student work.)


When the class has had adequate time on their comic strips, get the student's attention back to the front and start to wrap up. Initiate student-led cleaning up. (Optional: Play Clean Up Song and point out verbs in the song as students pitch in to clean).

Once the room is clean and the comic strips are turned in, ask, "What did you learn today?" or "Who wants to share a sentence they wrote using a verb?" (Seek answers from students.)

"Every action in a sentence is a verb. As you go through the rest of the day, think about how often you encounter verbs when playing on the playground, walking in the hallway, or running off the bus to go home. Verbs are everywhere!"


Written by Melanie Barrozo
Education World Contributor
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