Lessons About Adjectives vs. Adverbs

By , M.Ed. English Education
Lessons About Adjectives vs. Adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs are somewhat similar in that they both describe; however, adjectives must be paired with nouns while adverbs are paired with verb and other adverbs. A confusing part for some might also result because adverbs can also describe adjectives. Consequently, the more ways that students can interact and manipulate the words, the more comfortable they will become with them.

Lessons: Adjective vs. Adverb

Students can get very bored with their fifth or sixth worksheet on the same topic. Consequently, finding other ways to play with adjectives and adverbs will help students to distinguish between them. Students love games and moving around. Trying to combine these activities in an educational way will help them remember better.


Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Gather a variety of pictures and assign either a noun or verb to them depending on what the picture depicts. Clearly a picture of a car would be labeled "car." However, the picture of a woman sitting behind the wheel of a car could be labeled "driving."

Next, break students up into groups to challenge each other. The purpose of the challenge is describe the noun pictures using adjectives and the verb pictures using adverbs. The opposing teams have to figure out what is in the picture given these clues.

  • Using the picture of the car, students might describe it as red, shiny, metallic, small, and economical.
  • For the picture of the person driving, students might describe it as happily, speedily, joyfully, or energetically.

The team that figures out the most pictures would win.

Lesson 2: On the classroom walls, provide students with sentences that have blank spaces where an adjective or adverb should be. Make them large enough that students can be part of the sentence.

Give each student a few large pieces of paper in which to write down a word to fit into the space. Then have students become part of the sentence by standing in front of the correct space with their adjective or adverb.

Lesson 3: On large note cards or pieces of paper, have students write down individual nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Then, have students walk around class trying to find two to three other students with whom they can make a sentence. The students that create the longest complete sentence (that makes sense) wins.

Lesson 4: Adverb charades - choose a variety of different adverbs to put on one set of note cards and put a variety of different verbs on another set.

Have students draw from both piles of cards.

Once they have their adverbs and verbs, they can then act out the words and hope that the students can guess the two word phrase.

Lesson 5: Adjective/Adverb scavenger hunt. Using a recently read class novel, or a selection of several short stories, assign a group of students to either a chapter or a story. Groups can double up on chapters in order to check each other's work.

Have the students read through the story and pick out all adjectives and adverbs. They can then try reading the stories without these words in them to see the impact that properly placed adjectives and adverbs add to a story.

Lesson 6: Using old magazines, have students look through all of the advertisements to find the adjectives and adverbs used. Discuss with them the purpose of these words on the printed page. Another version of this is to use the advertisements and have students choose adjectives and adverbs to describe the pictures without using any of the words on the page itself.

Worksheets may be good practice or busy work, but not great as the sole learning aid for students. The more students can interact with authentic writing to see how parts of speech, grammar, punctuation and other aspects important to writing, affect what we see and read, the more they will understand how to use these in their own writing.

Students can use adverb flashcards to enhance their vocabulary and learn more adverb examples.