3 Tips for Teaching Comparative Adjectives

Is it time for you to teach adjectives to your first or second graders? Adjectives are so much fun to teach because we use them daily, so they are easy to apply. Descriptors are a very important part of our vocabulary. They allow us to convey information to each other and add interest to our daily conversations. After your students master the art of adjectives, it is time to move to teaching comparative adjectives. This is where things can really get fun! Today I'm going to share 3 tips for teaching comparative adjectives in your classroom! These are all things that I have found to be fun, engaging, and effective in my own classroom, and I can't wait to share them with you!

These 3 tips will help you easily teach comparative adjectives to your students in fun and engaging ways they will love!

1. Hands-On Activities

As with many things we teach in the primary grades, hands-on opportunities for learning is a great way to help our students understand and practice new concepts.  One of my favorite hands-on learning activities for comparing adjectives is a sorting activity! There is no dog and pony show with this activity. It's just one of those things the kids enjoy every time they do it, and it always works for mastering a skill.  

Using hands on activities like comparing objects in the classroom will help your students better understand comparative adjectives.
There are so many different spins you can put on this activity. I like to start with real objects, real people, and real life! For whole group instruction, you can start off by gathering a handful of objects (or students) from around your room. 

Lay out two or three objects at a time and have the kids "sort" them. I begin with some basic questions like "which stuffed animal is bigger?" or "which animal is smallest?"  

Students generally can identify these fairly easily which is why I start here.
From here, I begin introducing my students to the concept of ordering and describing using comparative adjectives.  While completing this activity you are focusing on the suffix endings of -er and -est.  I like to divide my whiteboard into three sections and have the students place the object under each category. This visual helps them to see the skills as we work through them. 

Using "est" and "er" to identify objects can be a difficult skill for students to grasp. Using these visual examples will help your students when learning comparative adjectives.
Teacher Tip: Over the years I have noticed that sometimes students struggle with the concept of using the same base word (i.e. big) to describe all the items.  They are generally used to describe one as the base word and one as its opposite (i.e. big/small).  

To help them choose the right words I like to have them start by identifying the object that would end with 'est' then 'er' and then finally the base word itself.  During a lesson it might sound like this:

"Which pencil is the longest?  Yes!  Let's place this one under the word longest.  Now, just look at these two remaining pencils.  Which one is longer?  Great.  Put it next to longer.  So we have one pencil left.  Which word would we use to describe this pencil?  Yes! Long.  Great job!"

Once we have practiced these concepts together, I like to continue the practice opportunities during our center time.  While space often limits being able to use a variety of real objects in a center, picture and word cards are perfect when added to a pocket chart.  It's the perfect answer for a sorting center! 

2. Drawing Adjectives

Kids love to draw - so why not engage them with learning through drawing!  

Grammar and creativity go hand in hand with drawing adjective activities like this which help you when teaching comparative adjectives.
Once students have an understanding of comparative adjectives you can step up the rigor by having your students create images for comparative adjectives.  Let your students' creativity shine while they practice their grammar skills.

To get started, all you need is some blank paper! Then just give the students categories such as small, smaller, smallest or tall, taller, and tallest. 

Have them draw a picture for each word.  I always have them label their picture with comparative adjectives too!  As an extension, you can have them write a sentence about each picture using the correct comparative adjective.  The kids get super excited when I teach this comparative adjective activity.  I love to use it as an informal assessment to see how students are doing with these concepts.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

There are a lot of different concepts that go into teaching comparative adjectives.  There's more than just using 'er' and 'est.'  While this is the starting place, we want our students to be able to use these comparative adjectives correctly in their oral and written language.  Additionally, there are spelling rules and exceptions that students must learn and practice.

Providing students with a variety of practice opportunities is really important to helping them master comparative adjectives.  I like combining traditional worksheets and 21st-century digital activities to provide these practice opportunities in my classroom.  

Using digital activities like this will keep your students engaged as they continue to practice the concept of comparative adjectives.
The students love the variety and it's a great way to keep them guessing as to what will come next.  We use these printable and digital activities to reinforce whole class lessons and in our language arts centers.

One of my favorite parts of using digital activities is the ability to connect our technology standards to our everyday learning.  Students can complete them using a computer, tablet, or even a smartphone.  And... if you find yourself teaching virtually, they are the perfect digital assignment for distance learning.

As you work on teaching comparative adjectives, here are some of the important concepts you will want students to learn:
  1. When to use 'er' and 'est'
  2. Describing using comparative adjectives
  3. Adding the word endings
  4. Using comparative adjectives in sentences
  5. Spelling comparative adjectives 

I have put together a variety of worksheets and digital activities to teach each of these concepts.  What's great is that whether you choose printable or digital, all of these practice activities are no prep for you.  This means that you can spend your time on the other important things on your to-do list while still knowing that your students are getting the skills-based practice they need.

Teaching Comparative Adjectives Made Easy

I hope these ideas give you some motivation and inspiration to jump right into teaching comparative adjectives. Teaching grammar doesn't have to be boring. 

While I know that you can create many of these activities on your own, I also know that sometimes it's really nice to have it ready for you.  So, if you are looking for a little time-saving lesson plan help then these Comparative Adjective Resources are just for you! 

You can find the Printable and Digital Comparative Adjective packets in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Use these printable comparative adjectives activities in your classroom to help  your students as they learn this important concept.

Use these fun and engaging digital comparative adjectives activities in your classroom to get in even more fun and engaging practice for your students.

Not Teaching Comparative Adjectives Yet?

No problem!  Just pin this to your favorite Classroom Pinterest board so you can come back when you are ready to start planning and teaching comparative adjectives in your classroom.

Teaching comparative adjectives just got a whole lot easier with these 3 tips you can use in your classroom today. From hands on activities, to drawing, to real life examples, your students will be engaged in learning all about comparative adjectives this year. Looking for digital resources for your tech friendly classroom? Check out the comparative adjectives digital activities you can assign to your students for extra fun and engaging comparative adjectives practice they will love. #comparativeadjectives #comparativeadjectivepractice #comparativeadjectiveactivities

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