Fun Ways to Teach Adjectives: Interactive Activities
written by: Keren Perles
• edited by: Sarah Malburg
• updated: 9/11/2012
Teaching parts of speech used to be boring, but not anymore. These interactive activities can make teaching about adjectives fun and exciting - for you and for your students as well!
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Bored of the normal "drill and kill" methods of teaching parts of speech? There's no need to give your students worksheet after worksheet of adjectives to complete. Try some of these interactive activities with adjectives instead!
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A Slimy, Green, Sticky...Iguana!
Have students write the most interesting adjectives they can think of (e.g., crooked, terrifying, high-pitched) on notecards, with one adjective on each notecard, and place them in a bucket or large container. Alternatively, make the bucket of notecards yourself. Pull three adjectives out of the bucket and encourage kids to write down as many objects they can think of that fit all three adjectives. For younger students, stick to only two adjectives and let them work in small groups. Let kids share their responses, and see which ones are the most common and which ones are unique to one student or group.
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Add an Adjective
Are any of your students talented artists - or do any of them simply enjoy drawing? This activity might be just what they need to get practice with their adjectives. Draw a simple picture of an object on the board, such as a dog, and label the object. Then let kids take turns adding an adjective before the noun and modifying the picture accordingly. For example, a student might add the word "angry" and then redraw the dog's face to make it look angry. Another student might then add the word "long" and redraw the dog to look like a dachshund.
You could also have particularly artistic students make a comic on a long piece of paper that mimics the activity above. The students could divide their papers into several horizontal squares, drawing an object in the first one, and then redrawing the object in each consecutive square based on an added adjective.
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Who Am I?
In this activity, students take turns using only adjectives to describe an object to the class. Give the student a piece of paper with the name of an object written on it, such as "dinosaur" or "evergreen." The student must then start saying adjectives that describe the object on the paper. The rest of the class tries to guess what the object is based on the adjectives used. For example, a student who gets the word "evergreen" might use the following adjectives to describe it: green, prickly, alive, tall. If a student uses a different part of speech, such as "plant" or "tree," the student who realizes it first takes a turn instead.
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Dig Through the Dictionary
Students may not realize just how many adjectives the English language contains, and how rich and unique they can be. For this adjective activity, each small group of students will need a large dictionary. The groups should then work together to look through the dictionary to find the adjectives that they think are the most interesting. Each group should make a list of fifteen adjectives, and each member of the group should choose several of these adjectives. Students then draw pictures to define the adjectives, each one on a separate page, and include the adjective and its definition on the page as well. You can then combine these pages together to make an illustrated adjective dictionary.