What Do Adverbs Do?
To start your adverb lesson plan, write the sentence “Mary ran quickly” on the board. Ask students to find the noun and verb in the sentence (Mary and ran). Then ask them to describe what the word “quickly” is doing, and which word it is modifying, or describing. Make sure that students understand that it is saying how Mary ran, and that it is modifying the word ran. Explain that “quickly” is an adverb, and that an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Write these three parts of speech on the board.
Then point out that adverbs answer certain specific questions about the verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs that they modify. Write the following list of questions on the board:
- To what extent?
Remind students that in the sentence “Mary ran quickly,” the adverb quickly answered the question “How?” Have students replace the word “quickly” with another adverb that answers the question “When?” (Possible answers might be “yesterday” or “then.”) Then have them replace it with an adverb that answers the question “Where?” (Possible answers might be “home” or “far.”) Explain that adverbs that answer the question “To what extent?” usually modify adjectives, not nouns. Have them add an adverb to this sentence that answers the question “To what extent”: “The sky was blue.” (Possible answers might be “very” or “light.”)
Adverbs vs. Adjectives
Draw a Venn diagram on the board, and ask the class to help you use the graphic organizer to compare and contrast adverbs and adjectives. They might say that the two parts of speech are similar because they are both modifiers, but that they are different because they answer different questions and modify different parts of speech.
Table of Questions
Have students draw a four-column chart with the headings “How?” “When?” “Where?” and “To what extent?” Then have them skim through a story and pick out a list of adverbs that they find. Encourage them to insert the adverbs into the correct place in the chart. Then ask them to share some of their adverbs with the class.
This adverb lesson plan should ensure that students understand the definition of an adverb and its uses.
This post is part of the series: Parts of Speech Lesson Plans
These parts of speech lesson plans will help you to make sure that your students actually learn the various parts of speech - and have fun in the process!