Add in Some Adjectives!

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SWBAT identify real-life connections between words and their use through the practice of sorting different types of adjectives.

Big Idea

The more words you learn, the more you will use!

Why Sort Adjectives?

1 minutes

Adjectives are not addressed by a specific standard in Kindergarten; however, they are imperative to students' writing and speaking skills.  Once students have learned about nouns and verbs, it is only logical that students build upon those skills by adding in adjectives.

This lesson is needed because it gets students talking about how to really describe things in a meaningful, useful and memorable way!

Adjectives add descriptions and light to speaking and writing.  I want my students to speak and write like little adults; so I have to teach them how to do so.  I love to teach my students about adjectives because it really forces them to add onto their thoughts and be descriptive. 
I feel that students should use, what I refer to as, "juicy words" as often as possible.  The way I can help them accomplish this high expectation is to give them as many words for their brain's word bank as possible.  This lesson is one way that I can give students a few extra words to purposefully add into their speaking and writing to build a solid foundation!

Introduction to Students

10 minutes

For this initial lesson, I teach to the whole group.  Students are seated in front of me on the carpet while I teach them through direct instruction on adjectives.
I teach this lesson in an I do, We do, You do format.  I do this because I think the complexity needs to build up and the scaffolding needs to move down.  I also think that this lesson should be supportive for students (since it's their first exposure to adjectives) and this format allows room for that while still moving up!

*During this lesson, students will repeat things to partners to help their learning- repetition helps with two things: 1- it helps them remember what they are learning by adding an extra repetition, and 2- they get to teach someone else something which builds confidence and community.

"Today, we are going to learn about adjectives.  Adjectives are words that describe something.  If I give you a noun, which is a person, place or thing, an adjective can be used to describe it.  So, today, we are going to learn about adjectives; adjectives are describing words.  Can you say that with me, please?"

(Students will say, "Adjectives are describing words.")

"Great job.  Adjectives are words that we need when we talk and when we write.  Adjectives are describing words.  Please tell a partner about adjectives."

(Students will say to a partner, "Adjectives are describing words.")

"Fabulous!  Now that we know what adjectives are, I am going to share some with you!  Today, we are going to learn about three types of adjectives: adjectives for colors, adjectives for numbers and adjectives for sizes.  This goes along with our math, so describing things with these words is an important skill for us!  We are going to look at some adjectives today and we are going to use them in sentences.  Once we have done that, we will decide what type of adjective they are.  Then, we will sort them.  Let me show you an example!"

I Do:
"Here are our three types of adjectives: colors, numbers and sizes.  Now, here is my stack of adjectives.  My first adjective is... two.  (think aloud) Let me use this in a sentence.  I have two pencils at my seat.  Now... hmmm... is the word two a color, a number or a size?  I think it is a number, so I will put this card that says two under the title for numbers.  Let me do another one... large... Let me use that in a sentence.  My backpack is large when I put my coat inside of it.  So... is the word large a color, a number or a size?  I think it is a size, so I will place the card that says large under the title card of sizes."

We Do:
"Now, help me.  My first card is red... Who can give me a sentence using the word red?"

(I call on a student who I can depend on to give me a good sentence.)

"Alright, based on _____'s sentence, is red a color, number or size?"

(Students should say, "Red is a color.")

"Great work!  Let's do another one!  My card now is tiny.  Who can give me a sentence using the word tiny?"

(I call on a student who I can depend on to give me a good sentence.)

"Alright, based on _____'s sentence, is tiny a color, number or size?"

(Students should say, "Tiny is a size.")

"You guys are so smart!"

You Do:
"Now, I am going to give each pair of you one card.  One person is going to make up a sentence about the word.  The other person is going to place the card under the heading for either colors, numbers or sizes."

Students already have partners set up in my classroom, so moving to pairs is done very quickly.  I give the better reader in each partnership the card so they can read it and create the sentence.  

As students work, I listen and watch.  I am looking for students to praise and students to re-teach in the moment. 

After all cards have been placed, I read each choice aloud to the class.  If a pair of students made a choice that was incorrect, I allow them to move their card and tell me why they had to move it and how they know their answer is now correct.  This is part of the process that holds them accountable for always getting the correct answer; even if not on the first try!

Practice with Sorting Adjectives

20 minutes

I have my students play this sorting game a few times within a two-week period.
I also have my students practice writing, using the adjectives from the game.  This gets them used to purposefully putting certain types of (easy-to-think-of) adjectives into their writing.

This is an activity that I love to put into a center.  It is one that gets students thinking, classifying, sorting and talking though their answers.  I love hearing the different types of sentences that the students have to come up with!  It really pushes their thinking and their speaking and listening skills while also strengthening their writing.

Here are some great centers to support this skill!
Here are some Adjectives Practice Pages, a Make Your Own Adjective Organizer and/or Sentences practice center and a Describing Words Activity

This activity is also one that I can add to. I love to add all of the number words (through 25) and all of the color words; this way, students get more practice with these words that they will need to be using!  I can add more categories throughout the year if I want to, also.