Body Parts and Actions Vocabulary Lessons—Teacher's Guide

In this compilation of lessons, activities, and worksheets, students learn that vocabulary words normally used to describe the human body can also be used to describe parts of inanimate objects and in metaphorical expressions. Students are also introduced to the different types of actions that people engage in.
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Humans engage in basically three kinds of actions. One kind is intellectual and involves the thinking that people do. We are not treating that kind in this lesson because it is too abstract to illustrate clearly. The other actions that people engage in are those that they consciously think about as opposed to those that the body does on its own. We talk about both of these actions.

In the worksheet Hostile Actions, where students look at the lexical extensions of attack, fight, hit, kick, and strike, they are asked to find the sentence in each set that comes closest to expressing real hostility. The ones we would choose are:

  • Be careful, that's an attack shark.

  • Jesse is a fighter pilot, so he gets called up only when there are real problems.

  • I think he has his own private hit man.

  • Little kids get carried out of stores kicking and screaming because their parents won't buy what they want.

  • It's not true that lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

Finding sentences that have little to do with hostility will be harder because hostility is an attitude, and it is not always possible to know what kinds of things have attitudes. For example, when speakers say that "the serum is attacking the poison," they could just as well say that the serum is counterbalancing or negating the poison. However, the word attack seems better. It is shorter and more dramatic, plus it gets the listener emotionally involved because people know what it means to be attacked. Positive uses of hit (Hit Parade, hits on Broadway, hits on a website, etc.) probably relate to this same kind of emotional involvement.

The following worksheets can be used in teaching your students about human actions. Answer keys are included where necessary.

Hostile Actions
Survival Actions
An Action-Packed Crossword Puzzle

Excerpted from

Vocabulary Plus K-8: A Source-Based Approach
Vocabulary Plus K-8: A Source-Based Approach
Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen
Vocabulary Plus K-8: A Source-Based Approach is a goldmine of activities, examples, and workshops that provides teachers with ways to teach specific vocabulary words by presenting sound theory combined with practical teaching materials and friendly advice.
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