Review Video & Follow These Instructional Guidelines
Although adjectives are a basic part of speech, they are a very powerful tool for young writers. Understanding how adjectives affect the understanding of the reader (the picture in the reader's head) can help students strive for “juicier” adjectives when writing. The GrammarSongs adjective music video provides a visual demonstration of this concept by altering two common nouns using both words and pictures. Writing two sentences that are exactly alike except for the adjectives can also paint a clearer picture of the power of the adjective. For example, “The brown, spotted dog crossed the dusty road.” paints a different picture than “The tiny, young dog crossed the busy road.” The nouns are exactly the same, but the adjectives empower the message the readers receive.
- Identify nouns everywhere you go, and ask your children/students to give adjectives that would describe each noun.
- Use old greeting cards, calendars, or magazines to cut out pictures of interest. Allow students to create graphic organizers, or webs, by gluing a picture in the middle of the web and filling in the outside bubbles with adjectives to describe the picture. Take it a step further, and challenge students to write a paragraph using the graphic organizer as a prewriting activity.
- Write sentences identifying nouns and “juicing sentences up” with adjectives.
- Complete the grammar sheet “Sorting Simple Adjectives.”
- Extra Engagement: Use the information within the grammar sheet in a more hands-on way by cutting the adjectives into strips to be sorted by students whole class, individually, or with a partner. Using this idea as a “we do” to build upon is a great way to connect new information to prior knowledge. Students will analyze whether the adjectives presented would best describe a pizza, teacher, or car.
- Complete grammar sheet “Identifying Adjectives (Primary).”
- Extra Engagement: Use the information presented within the sheet to model sentences on a whiteboard or Smart Board to create a whole class lesson. Cut the sheet apart, gluing the related answers from the answer key on the back to use within a cooperative learning structure or as a self-checking center activity.
- Emphasize that adjectives are needed when writing to create a clearer picture for your reader.
- Optional Warm Up Activity: Demonstrate this by choosing a simple object/common noun to place in a paper bag (like a box, or candle). Describe the object/noun while allowing the students to draw pictures of what you are describing. “My box is little. It has a red and blue striped lid. The sides have big yellow dots. It has a fluffy pink bow on top. The bottom ….....” (Create an example that works for you.) When the pictures are shown, and the actual object is revealed, emphasize that the adjectives helped to describe the object even when it couldn't be seen.
- Extra Engagement: Invite students to bring their own objects in as an “adjective show and tell.” Students should keep the items hidden and describe them (perhaps to a partner) as others imagine or draw them. Hopefully, the more descriptive the adjectives used, the more accurate the students' imaginations/drawings will be.
- Write sentences and circle the adjectives. Introduce the use of a thesaurus to look for common adjectives like “nice” or “pretty” and 'juice them up' into adjectives like “caring” and “gorgeous.”
- Complete grammar sheet “Using Adjectives to Modify Nouns.”
- Look through real literature or through basal text for examples of “juicy” adjectives.
- Discuss how the adjective choice makes the picture in the reader's head more vivid.
- Encourage students to examine examples of their own writing to notice the adjectives they tend to use or overuse.
- Invite them to “juice up” their verbs using synonyms. (This would be a good real-world use for a thesaurus.)
- Complete grammar sheets “Identifying Adjectives” and “Juicy Word Practice with Adjectives.”
- Present students with pictures from magazines. Have each student or partner pair glue the picture in the center of a large piece or paper. Create a web branching off from the picture containing adjectives that could be used in describing the picture.
- Review any activities from previous grades as necessary.
- Emphasize the use of “juicier” adjectives by consulting a thesaurus when writing.