How to Teach Adjectives to Small Kids

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to Teach Adjectives to Small Kids
Asking a child to name colours and shapes is an effective way to teach them adjectives. ( Images)

Learning how to identify adjectives in sentences is a difficult task for many young children, and teaching them how to recognise and label a word as an adjective can be a frustrating process for many adults. The lesson may confuse or bore the child, which often results in the child becoming distracted quickly. Use interactive games to make learning enjoyable and help the youngster learn to spot an adjective quickly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Different colours of construction paper
  • Poster board or sheet of paper
  • Sheet of gold star stickers or other type of reward stickers
  • Small objects of different textures, sizes, shapes, colours and quantities

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  1. 1

    Set a poster board or sheet of paper on a table. Tell the child that he receives a sticker on his paper every time he names an adjective correctly. Once he gets a certain number of stars, he will receive a special treat, such as an ice cream cone, cash or even a trip to the zoo. The number of stars he must earn depends on the age of the child and his attention span. Reward him either at the end of each lesson or at the end of the week after multiple lessons.

  2. 2

    Cut out various shapes with a pair of scissors from different coloured pieces of construction paper. Tell her that adjectives describe shapes. Ask the child to name the different shapes.

  3. 3

    Write down a simple sentence, such as "The ball is round." Ask him to remember that shapes are adjectives and to identify the adjective in that sentence. If he does so correctly, reward him with a star. If not, repeat the lesson.

  4. 4

    Tell her that colours describe an object, therefore, they are an adjective.

  5. 5

    Ask him to tell you the colours of each shape you cut out.

  6. 6

    Write down a short sentence, such as "The ball is red and round." Remind her that colours and shapes describe an object or thing, and they are adjectives. Tell the child to identify the adjectives in the sentence and that there may be more than one.

  7. 7

    Reward the child with a sticker if he guesses correctly. If not, repeat the lesson. If your child becomes frustrated after trying for a half an hour, it may be necessary to take a break or begin again another day.

  8. 8

    Place many objects on a table. Use various textures, sizes, shapes, colours and quantities. Explain that textures, or how something feels to the touch, is an adjective. Ask the child to identify each texture and to name the adjective. Repeat the same procedure with quantities, temperature or age, such as young or old. Repeat her phrases or sentences back to her and ask her what the adjective is in each.

  9. 9

    Reward the child with stickers and his special treat once he has earned his agreed upon number of stickers. Repeat the lesson each day or weekly until he no longer has difficulty identifying the adjectives.

Tips and warnings

  • Play interactive games with your child while driving in the car or taking a walk. Ask her to name objects and describe them. Repeat her own sentences back to her and ask her to identify the adjectives.
  • Make up a song with your child about what adjectives do in a sentence. Use examples in the song and instead of singing in the same tone of voice, shout out the adjective in the sentence. This is an enjoyable way for the child to learn about adjectives and to memorise songs. It is something he can hum softly or think about while he is taking a test on the parts of language.

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