Last fall, I did a notecard activity with words that can act as both nouns and verbs in the English language. Since the instructions left many students confused, I tried a new tactic this time around in Advanced Grammar.
- I created multiple notecards with a single noun/verb like walk, talk, honor, praise, vote, etc.
- Students paired up.
- They were challenged to put their word through our advanced definition of a noun: make it plural, make it possessive, and use it in a sentence. Here are some examples of the results, recorded on the back of the notecard:
- the smiles of the children A smile’s power is great.
- the works of the students work’s results
- I’ve had multiple talks with the student about his behavior.
- your vote’s power By a show of votes, Alex has won.
- Next, students had to inflect their word three ways as a verb (add -s/-es, add -ed, add -ing) and then write original sentences:
- She smiles at him. I smiled at him. The newlywed couple is smiling.
- He worked in the store. I am working for you.
- She talked loudly. I am talking to you.
This approach seems to have worked a little better in showing how diverse — not to mention confusing — English words can be.