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Powerful Verbs – KS2 Features of Writing Worksheets

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Support pupils in KS2 to explore more ambitious vocabulary for their own writing using the activities provided in this resource pack. Each task – understand, explain, challenge, test, apply – explores how choosing more powerful synonyms for everyday verbs can change the meaning of a sentence, and give writing more impact.

Perfect for home learning, as an exercise before an independent writing task, or as a way to challenge more able learners in lower year groups, the worksheets are bright and engaging, using eye-catching images to fire children’s imaginations, and giving them the opportunity to apply their knowledge in creative writing activities.

This primary resource is divided into five sections:

  • Understand
    Match common verbs with a more-powerful alternative, write verb alternatives for words, and change the verbs in the example sentences for more-powerful ones
  • Explain
    Read the pairs of sentences and describe the effect that the more-powerful verb has in each. Then change the verbs in the given sentences and explain what effect that has
  • Challenge
    Write two sentences about each of the images shown. The first should have a common verb, then the second should have a powerful verb
  • Test
    Add powerful verbs to fill in the blanks in sentences, and underline them in a passage. Next, create a sentence for each of the powerful verbs given
  • Apply
    Write a short story about the image provided, using plenty of powerful verbs

What is a powerful verb?

If verbs describe an action, a powerful verb is a more interesting version of basic verbs that help to make writing more descriptive, exciting and engaging. Learning these will help expand children’s vocabularies and improve their speaking and writing skills.


  • Sprinted, galloped or strode instead of ran
  • Shouted, whispered or muttered instead of said
  • Searched, eyeballed or perused instead of looked
  • Snoozed, slumbered or dozed instead of slept

Powerful verb list

  • Astound
  • Chuckled
  • Created
  • Destroyed
  • Devoured
  • Discover
  • Emerged
  • Flopped
  • Flung
  • Grasp
  • Leap
  • Observe
  • Plead
  • Raged
  • Scream
  • Scribe
  • Shudder
  • Sprout
  • Spy
  • Stroll
  • Stumble
  • Whacked
  • Whisper
  • Withered

Year 3/4 Writing - composition

Pupils should be taught to evaluate and edit by assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements

Year 5/6 Writing - composition

Pupils should be taught to evaluate and edit by proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning

  • Worksheets

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