After students master the concepts of subjects and verbs in a sentence, they begin to explore modifiers. Adjectives are the simplest modifier to teach and to understand because their only job is to describe a noun An adjective will answer one of these questions about a noun: Which one? What kind? How much? How many? Whose? Make lessons about adjectives fun so students remember them!
Keep a stock of picture writing prompts. Cut out pictures from magazines, calendars and travel guides. Glue them to cardstock and laminate. For an activity on adjectives, pass out the picture prompts and have students list as many adjectives as they can to describe the pictures. You can also use the magazines to make a giant adjective collage to hang in the classroom. Have students cut out words from magazines that are adjectives. Students can work together to glue them to a large piece of cardboard. Apply decoupage, allow to dry and hang on the wall.
Adjective-Noun Face Off
Bring two students to the front of the room and have them sit in chairs facing each other. One chair is designated the “noun chair” and the other, the “adjective chair.” The student in the adjective chair offers an adjective, such as “delicious.” His opponent must say a noun that could be described by that word, such as “cookies.” The first player must then think of another adjective that can describe cookies, such as “round.” Play goes back and forth in this manner (delicious, cookies, round, coin, silver, dollar, wrinkled, etc.) until one player is unable to come up with a word within a designated time limit. No adjectives or nouns can be repeated.
Keep a trunk full of “dress-up” clothes and accessories. This could include different kinds of hats, belts, jackets, scarves, ties, wigs, shoes, sports equipment and jewelry. Allow students to bring things from home to add to the collection. For a fun activity on adjectives, have students take turns putting together an outfit and modeling it in front of the class. Classmates can pretend they are fashion-show commentators and describe the outfits using adjectives.
Adjectives or Noun?
While adjectives are fun for students to work with, sometimes too many adjectives can make writing weak. Give students examples of wordy descriptions using adjectives and see if they can turn them into powerful nouns that will make their writing stronger. For instance, a strong, healthy, fit person is an athlete. A mean, aggressive, intimidating person is a bully. A large, expensive house is a mansion. Conversely, write strong nouns on flashcards and have students write as many adjectives as they can to describe it. For example, shack: small, wooden, cozy, rickety.
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