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Vivid Verbs
Grade Level(s): 3-5
By: Dorie Thurston

This lesson will encourage students to use more vivid verbs, verbs that give a very clear picture of the action taken place, and discourage the usage of is and was. They will be making a personal thesaurus to use in creative writing.


The student will:
--know the definition of a vivid verb.
--be able to find vivid verbs in literature.
--use vivid verbs in their creative writing assignments.
--use the thesaurus that they have created as an aid in writing.


Thank You for the Thistle, by Dorie Thurston, and worksheet called Thinking Thesaurus found at www.doriebooks.com.


  1. Hand out the “Thinking Thesaurus” worksheet to the class. Tell them that at the top of the page are some common verbs used in writing. They do not give a clear mental picture of exactly how an action took place.
  2. Ask the students to listen to the vivid verbs used in the story, Thank You for the Thistle, and write them down under the common verb they see on the worksheet. Teacher can also make a Thinking Thesaurus poster for the room.
  3. Write the sentence “The dog went down the street.” on the board. Ask the students to rewrite this sentence with a more vivid verb. Call on students to read their sentences to the class and see how each student painted an entirely different picture. (The dog dashed down the street.)
  4. Copy one or two pages from the book and have them underline the vivid verbs.
  5. Have students write a story about Happy, the clown, who could not just walk in a parade he …… Have them use the vivid verbs from their “Thinking Thesaurus” to tell several different ways the clown went down the street.


I can be reached at doriethurson@hotmail.com.


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