"LIFE" is a Verb ...

07 November 2011
OK - lower those eyebrows ... I know "life" is a noun, but I just have to share our activity from today ...

It all started with this sticky note I found while searching the internet this weekend.  LOVE it!  And then my teacher brain kicked in ... and I mean KICKED in!  How much fun would this be to recreate in class ... and it totally was!

I started by (quickly) showing my students this image and explained that we were going to make our very own poster using the same idea.  First I posted a piece of bristol board on the blackboard, and had the students investigate how many sticky notes would tile the surface.  They then had to take the total number of sticky notes and divide it by the number of students in the class to find out how many sticky notes each student would receive (LOVE when I can throw a little math into my language class).
For the record, we fit 63 sticky notes on the paper.

I then gave the students 2 minutes to independently brainstorm as many verbs as they could think of that relate to "life".  We have already studied verbs this year, so this was a great review activity.  I then launched into a mini lesson about connotation and denotation of words, and allowed the students a few more minutes to cross out any words that had a negative connotation - neutral words could stay on the list.  I then paired the students for a few more minutes so they could share their lists and build on them.  When our brainstorm was complete, I made a list of all the wonderful verbs they had come up with.

We only needed to come up with 63 amazing verbs, but I think we ended up with over 90!

After that I chose students randomly (from my name jar) to pick their three words (a few students had to complete 4 words).  I instructed the students to write the word at the bottom of their sticky note (as large as they could), and if they wished, they could add a small symbol in the upper right corner.

Last step - assemble the completed sticky notes back onto the bristol board.  I wrote "Life is a Verb" at the bottom of the poster, and glued down some of the not-so-sticky sticky notes.  Add in a few minutes of photoshop when I got home, and Voila!!!  LOVE it!

I'm going to upload it to Vista Print tonight and get a large poster made for our classroom - and even better, they have a sale going on with free posters right now (at least they do in Canada).  Did I mention that SHOP is one of my favourite verbs?  ;)

Happy Monday!!!


  1. That is so cool!! I love this idea, I especially love that one of your kids wrote "grin"..cute! Thanks for sharing.

  2. A totally random comment- but you have the most beautiful chalkboard handwriting. ☺

  3. CAH-UTE! LOVE THIS! My kids also love group projects, we may have to try this one!

  4. WOW...you still have a chalkboard.

    LUV the idea. thanks for the inspiration.

  5. lol - I DO still have a chalkboard, but I also have a SMARTboard. I was projecting notes on connotation with the ELMO over the SMARTboard, so I used the chalkboard for the brainstorm list. My other chalkboards are all covered - two are bulletin boards, and one is a display board for current anchor charts. I actually use the one chalk board a lot for making quick notes.

  6. Love all the positive verbs!
    Great idea :-)

  7. Love your idea!

    There is a wonderful book called "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh
    "Patti Digh, the creator and author of the award-winning blog 37days.com, is the
    author of the best-selling Life is a Verb"

  8. What s super neat idea!! I can't wait to do this and it opens up soooooooooo many other possibilities.

  9. This is a fabulous idea! I pinned it so I can use it in the future. I also like that you used vistaprint to create a poster of what they created. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Love your ideas--always so fun and creative!

    My kids recently made an "action verb" poster for our school space. I let them use any action verbs they wanted, so of course it has "spelunking" and "barfing," etc. Our linking verb poster will be slightly less interesting. :-)

  11. Thanks! Sparklee - my kids would LOVE a poster with spelunking and barfing. ;)
    You should see the words they come up with when we do Mad Lib activities ...

  12. Hi Jen:

    I am catching up on post reading...
    LOVE the poster! And the little icons just make it... complete!

    Suddenly I really miss my chalkboard...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  13. This is a GREAT idea! Thanks for sharing!!