This post will provide you with several ideas, activities, and resources to make these lessons not only engaging but will help them remember the rules.
A video or a catchy tune are always a fun and engaging way to start off a grammar lesson.
To watch some of the videos listed below, you may need a membership, but many times these sites have a free trial membership you can sign up for.
- Brainpop, Jr. is designed for primary students however it sometimes covers skills that Brainpop does not and can be used for upper elementary students. In this case, Brainpop, Jr. goes over when to add -es, when to change an -f or -fe to -ves, when to add -ies, and how to change (or not change) irregular plurals. The rules begin at around the 1:40 mark of the video.
- Flocabulary provides a four minute video. This video will probably catch upper elementary students attention better than the previous one. It provides examples for all of the different plural noun rules in a catchy tune that your students are sure to continue to sing throughout the day.
Grammar picture books are definitely one of my favorite ways to introduce a grammar skill lesson to my students.
- Feet and Puppies, Theives and Guppies: What are Irregular Plurals? by Brian Cleary is a quick and silly book that will engage students as it goes through the different rules for plural nouns. Although the title states "irregular plurals," it goes over all the different types of plurals.
- If You Were a Plural Word is another great option that goes over the definition plural and gives examples and reasons for the many plural noun rules.
Whole Group Lesson
It is important to provide students with visuals. It helps them understand the grammar skill you are introducing. Resources such as posters, anchor charts, or interactive notebook activities are great tools to use. They can be displayed in the classroom or on a whiteboard. Students can copy them into their notebooks or mini anchor charts can be provided for them to glue into their interactive journals.
(You can grab this free anchor chart by clicking on the image below.)
Provide Practice Activities
Once the skill has been introduced to the students, practice opportunities are essential since they offer students the opportunity to master the skill. These can be provided as a whole group or individually.
Whole Group Practice Activities
After the whole group lesson, it is a good idea to do a quick practice activity to informally assess if students are understanding and which rules you should clarify further. Here are two activities you can choose from.
1. Thumbs up, thumbs down is always a quick "go to" activity. Display a singular noun on the board. Then, write the plural form of it on the board. You will want to alternate between correct and incorrect answers. Ask students to hold a thumbs up if it is correct and a thumbs down if it is incorrect.
2. Using powerpoint slides, display a singular word with multiple choice options below it. Have students write the correct answer on an individual response boards. At the count of three, have students hold up their answers.
You can also have students use a folded sheet of paper with different colors. Have them display the color of the correct answer. This is a great option when working with students virtually. You can quickly see all the colors on the screen.
Independent Practice Activities
1. Print and fold interactive booklets are one of our favorite ways to practice skills in the classroom. These booklets include the plural noun rules on the cover and engaging practice activities inside including puzzles, games, and brain teasers. They also have a place for students to write in their own words what they know about the skill. It is a great way to evaluate the students' understanding of the skill.
2. Boom cards are digital task cards and have become my students' favorite way to practice. They absolutely love how they immediately receive feedback. I love that there is zero prep. Just send them the "fast pin" link via email, Zoom chat, or any other way, and they are in and ready to practice.
Assessing Students' Understanding
Many of the activities listed above can also be used to assess students' mastery of the skill.
Other options for assessment are to:
- provide a list of 10 or 15 singular nouns, then have them write the plural form next to them. (Make sure to try to have at least one word for each of the plural nouns rules.)
- offer students exit tickets after a lesson. Students can quickly fill them out before leaving class or moving onto another subject. This informal assessment can better guide you with you needs extra support or what skills you should focus on further.
- standards based quick check assessments. These quick checks are so easy to use because they are both digital and printable. What I love most is that the standard is written at the top of the page making it easy to document when implementing standard based grading.
Hopefully this post on singular and plural nouns activities helps to support you as you plan grammar lessons for your students. You can check out more topics in our grammar series by clicking on the topics below:
- Dependent and Independent Clauses Activities
- Subject and Predicate Activities
- Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases Activities
- Types of Sentences Activities
- Ordering Adjectives Activities
- Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Activities
- Common and Proper Nouns Activities
- Commonly Confused Words Activities