10 Fun Activities to Teach Adjectives

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Aren't adjectives just so much fun! They are one of the most important parts of speech that you can teach. Why? Because adjectives make writing more meaningful, vivid and interesting. Adjectives are the key to getting students to become accomplished, creative writers. Let me give you an example. Here is a sentence without adjectives:

The bird is in the tree.

And here is a sentence with adjectives:

The baby bird is in the lush, green tree.

See the difference? The second sentence helps you to create a clearer image in your mind and visualize the text more effectively. I've put together a list of engaging ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom.

10 Fun Activities for Teaching Adjectives
Teaching adjectives does not have to be boring (or full of worksheets). Here are 10 fun ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom. Many of the activities are free and super simple to set up.

1. What's in the Box?

The best thing about this activity is that it is fun and free! Simply gather some things laying around at home or in the classroom such as an apple, pencil, glue stick, bottle etc. Then, place one of the objects inside a box or bag and choose a student to take a peek. That student describes what is in the box to the rest of the class using adjectives. The remaining students try to guess what the hidden object is by listening to the clues. For example, to describe an apple, students might say that it is round, it is red, it is crunchy, it is sweet.

2. Guess the Animal

This activity is so much fun! It is very similar to celebrity heads where the student tries to guess what animal they are by asking questions. However, the adjectives twist is that the student must use an adjective in each question. For example, Am I green? Do I have four legs? Can I run quickly? Am I dangerous? Can I swim fast? Am I fluffy? Do I have soft skin? Do I have a spotty body? And so on. I made the headbands from some card stapled together at the ends. Super easy and so much fun! You can find the pictures in my TPT store here.

3. Find an Adjective

Want to incorporate adjectives into your guided reading groups/literacy centers? This is a great way to provide students with practice in identifying adjectives. As a bonus, this activity also gives them the opportunity to examine how authors use adjectives in their writing. To complete the activity, students flick through their guided reading books and locate all of the adjectives that they can find. Have them note them down in their workbooks or on a mini whiteboard. As an extension, have students find a sentence without an adjective and get them to rewrite it with adjectives.

4. Describe It

It is so important to get students thinking about how to describe objects. Using adjectives in writing is great, but they must be relevant too! This 'Describe It' activity has students thinking about the best suited adjectives for each of the nouns. To play, students choose a picture card and then select 4 relevant adjectives to describe it. Then, they write a sentence in their workbooks using one or more of the adjectives. You might like to change it up sometimes too by having students choose the silliest adjectives to describe the pictures. This helps to highlight how some adjectives just do not go with words. Plus, it will have them in giggles too! You can grab this activity here.

5. Pick a Noun

I know that 'noun' is in the title but I promise this is totally an adjectives activity. It is a great warm-up and is perfect for getting students thinking about how adjectives can describe certain objects. To play, choose an adjective such as 'long' and have students brainstorm all the different things that can be described by this word. For example, snake, pencil, ruler, hair, dress, bananas, worm, rake. 

6. Edit a Sentence

Once students begin using adjectives in their writing, you might be find that they keep using the SAME adjectives ALL THE TIME. 'There was a nice girl who lived in a castle. It was a nice day and she met a nice prince and they had a nice day together.' Yep, bet you've all experienced this and are cringing right now. This is where the 'Edit a Sentence' activity comes in. Students read the sentence and rewrite it by swapping the adjective/word with another from the table. I love this activity so much because it expands their adjective vocabulary and shows them how multiple words can be used to describe a certain noun. R.I.P nice. Glad to see you go.

7. Draw a...

This is a fun one! Get students to design a new animal, monster or robot and then have them list some adjectives to describe it. If you want to link this activity with another learning area, it pairs super well with creative arts. The above 'Rabbicafish' was completed as a part of the lesson 'Critters from Alien Earth' which you can check out for free here.

8. Alphabet Adjectives

This activity will get students thinking! Have students write out the alphabet and choose an adjective for each letter. Here are a few to get your students started. A = awesome, amazing. B = beautiful, big, bouncy, brown. C = cold, clear, cute. D = dry, dirty, deep, dangerous.  E = elegant, easy, excited. I love this one because it requires minimal resources and can be extended by having students use a few of the adjectives in sentences. It is also a great fast finisher idea and can be repeated with both nouns and verbs.

9. Opposites

Here's another great warm up activity. Call out an adjective and have students call out (or write down) its opposite. Check out the table below for some ideas:

10. Adjective Sort

Adjective Sort should have been number one on this list of activities but here we are. Before the rest of the activities on this list can be completed, students must be able to distinguish adjectives from other words. If students are still mixing adjectives up with nouns and verbs then they won't be able to complete any of adjective activities successfully or incorporate them into their writing effectively. This adjective sorting game is a straightforward way for students to distinguish adjectives from other words. They read the word, decide whether it is an adjective or not and then write it in the matching column. You can check this activity out here.

What fun ways do you use to teach adjectives? Comment below, I'd love to know.

If you'd like to check out the resources in this post, you can find them here:

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