Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Yes, No, Maybe So!

Kerry McMillen


After looking at various pictures, the students, as a class, identify the ones illustrating action verbs. Then, after looking at a picture individually, students write sentences using strong, active verbs summarizing the action in the picture.


The student uses various parts of speech correctly in written work (including but not limited to subject and verb agreement, common noun and pronoun agreement, possessive forms, the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs).


-Approximately 40 pictures showing action (from magazines, newspapers, etc.)
-Approximately 8-10 pictures that obviously do not depict any action
-Chalkboard, chalk


1. Prior to the lesson, collect approximately 40 pictures showing action and approximately 10 nonexamples.
2. Gather supplies listed in materials list.


1. Write the headings “Yes” and “No” on the chalkboard.
2. Show students a picture depicting some action such as a boy riding a bicycle. Without saying anything, tape it to the board under the “Yes” heading. Show another picture that is obviously not showing action such as a picture of an umbrella. Put it under the “No” heading. Repeat procedure one more time.
3. Then show additional pictures to the students and ask them which heading they go under. Have students respond by giving a thumbs-up if they go in the “Yes” column or a thumbs-down if they go in the “No” column.
4. Students should begin to realize that the pictures in the “Yes” column show action and the ones in the “No” column do not.
5. Ask students “What makes the “yes” pictures a yes and the “no” pictures a no?” Listen to the students’ responses and elicit that the yes examples are illustrating action verbs.
6. Continue showing pictures until you have 8-10 for each column. Have students identify which column pictures should be in.
7. Ask students to tell you what action is being depicted in each picture. Then, ask for synonyms for each verb. For example, in a picture showing a crying child, a student may say “cry.” After asking for synonyms, students may say wail, weep, scream, etc.
8. Continue procedure with each picture. Stress the importance of using strong, active verbs when writing.
9. Give each student a picture depicting some sort of action.
10. Instruct students to write a sentence using a strong, active verb to describe the action in the picture. Then, students write additional sentences using synonyms of the verb. Provide thesauruses for the students as needed. Each student should write at least five sentences with strong, active verbs. Students identify the verbs by underlining them. Example—(a picture showing two people having a conversation) Students may write—The two friends talked to each other. The two friends chatted with each other. The two friends discussed their day with each other. The two friends spoke to each other. The two friends gossiped with each other.
11. Students exchange pictures with a classmate and repeat the procedure.
12. Students share pictures and a couple of their sentences with the class.
13. Students turn in completed sentences for teacher assessment.


Assessment of students’ sentences will be based on the following rubric:

Full Accomplishment (3) Student’s sentences contain strong, active verbs that clearly describe the action in the illustration. Student has correctly identified the verb in each sentence.

Substantial Accomplishment (2) Most of the student’s sentences contain strong, active verbs that describe the action in the illustration. However, a few of the verbs may be incorrectly identified.

Partial Accomplishment (1) Student has difficulty writing sentences with strong, active verbs and/or identifying the verb. Student’s work may be incomplete.


This lesson can be adapted to use when teaching other parts of speech.
The lesson also appeals to auditory and visual learners.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.