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SWBAT determine when to use the articles "a," "an," and "the" appropriately.

Big Idea

Students will learn when to use "a," "an," and "the" in writing and speaking.


1 minutes


4 minutes

I begin this lesson by explaining to my students that the words "a," "an," and "the" are special adjectives called articles.  I write the words on the whiteboard.  I tell them to remember that adjectives describe nouns.  You use "a" in front of words that begin with a consonant sound.  You use "an" in front of words that begin with a vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u).  You use "the" when talking about a specific person, place, thing, or idea.   


10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I model the correct use of the articles "a," "an," and "the" and provide my students guided and independent practice.  I do slides 2-4.  We do slides 5-7.  Students do slides 8-11 independently.

Study Bee

20 minutes

Next, we have a study bee.  I have my students line up across the front of the class like for a spelling bee.  I give them an article - either "a," "an," or "the" to use correctly in a sentence.  If they get it incorrect, they must sit down.  The last student standing is the winner.  My students really enjoy study bees because it gives them an opportunity to "show what they know" in a competitive game.  They enjoy trying to be the "best" in the class to demonstrate a particular skill or concept.  The activity is really sort of an interactive guided practice session before they move on to independent practice.  As each student recites his/her answers aloud, we are able to evaluate the accuracy of his/her responses and correct any misconceptions openly for the benefit of the entire class.

Writing Activity

15 minutes

I have my scholars practice using "a," "an," and "the" correctly through writing by writing a short narrative in which they use each of the three articles correctly.  I further explain to them that there are two types of articles - definite (the) and indefinite (a/an).  The definite article "the" specifies a particular person, place, thing, or idea.  The indefinite articles "a" or "an" indicates that the following noun is a member of a class.


10 minutes

To close the lesson, students share their narratives.  The lesson provides the appropriate amount of scaffolding, modeling, guided and independent practice.  It is an engaging lesson because it incorporates a wide variety of meaningful activities.