I asked students if they knew what plural nouns were. Several raised their hands. I called on one and he told me plural means more than one. Next, I asked students to tell me how we write plural nouns. They said we add -s or -es. I asked about nouns like tooth. I heard them whisper tooths under their breath, realize it wasn't correct, and quickly pipe out, "Teeth!" "Yes!" I exclaimed. I explained some nouns are irregular. Instead of adding an -s or -es in the regular way to make it plural, it changes its spelling OR the singular and plural forms are the same.
I wrote two columns on the board. I labeled one singular and the other plural. I wrote tooth in the singular column and teeth in the plural column. I wrote child in the singular column and asked them to supply the plural. They promptly called out children. I did the same foot/feet and mouse/mice. I chose these nouns as examples because I knew students would be familiar with their plural forms. I reinforced the vocabulary by asking them what type of nouns they were. They correctly identified them as irregular.
I passed out the worksheet where students would write the plural form of irregular nouns. I told them they were going to learn the plural form of irregular nouns by looking them up in the dictionary. (To review uses of the dictionary, I randomly called on students to read the bulleted list on the dictionary skills poster. One of the listed uses is other word forms.) I modeled how to do this by placing a children’s dictionary on the document camera. I looked up the word child and pointed out where they would find the plural form of the word (children). I modeled writing it on the worksheet. Students followed suit on their own sheet. Students are familiar with how to use the dictionary, so I released them to complete the assignment with a partner.
Students self-selected partners. I did this because the assignment did not require a particular reading level. I walked around and monitored students as they worked. I was looking for whether or not students were flipping through the dictionary page by page, or using the guide words as taught in a previous lesson. I want students to become proficient in locating words as well as being able to find the plural form.
Students were assessed on the number of correct responses. Incorrect responses were circled on their paper and given back for correction. 80% was considered mastery.
Ticket Out the Door – I wanted students to reflect on what they had learned today, so I asked them to write which irregular plural form surprised them the most. I wanted students to reflect on the fact that not all plural nouns take the -s or -es ending. Geese and oxen were the most common responses.