Do we add -er and -est to the end of the adjective, or do we add more and most to the front of the word? That is the question!...and questions certainly do arise when it comes to comparative and superlative adjectives.
Grammar sure can be complicated. That's why it's beneficial to set up engaging activities and captivating visuals for students while explicitly teaching these complex skills.
Here are a few activities you can use to help your students master comparative and superlative adjectives.
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Begin with a Read Aloud or a Video
Picture books or videos are an engaging way to introduce a new skill. Not only does it help to set the stage for what students will be learning, but it's a fun!
A book that I found that pairs nicely when teaching comparatives and superlatives is Breezier, Cheezier, Newest, and Bluest: What are Comparative and Superlative Adjectives? by Brian Cleary. This book explains how these forms of adjectives compare nouns through rhymes and funny illustrations. The adjectives are written in color amongst black text which helps them be quickly identified.
Another great introduction is to show a video. Flocabulary is a website that has creative hip-hop songs and videos that are extremely catchy. There is a video for comparatives and superlatives on the site. Although Flocabulary is a paid site, you can sign up for a FREE trial.
Whole Group Lesson
It's always a good idea to have students write notes inside of their notebook for future reference. As you can see below, there are quite a few rules to follow when it comes to comparatives and superlatives. You may prefer to create a notebook size poster and give them to students to glue inside their notebooks or provide them with a print and fold booklet that already includes the rules.
Introduce the rules one at a time providing examples and having students come up with their own.
- Adjectives that are just one syllable, add -er or -est (ex. small - smallest)
- Double the last consonant before adding -er or -est if the word ends in a CVC pattern (ex. thin - thinner)
- Two syllable adjectives that do NOT end in -y and adjectives with 3 or more syllables, add the words more or most before them. (ex. clever - more clever / beautiful - more beautiful)
- Two syllable adjectives that end in -y, change the -y to "i" and add -es (ex. happy - happiest)