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Making Singular Nouns Plural

Jay Babcock
Colleges and Universities - Florida

Description
This series of short lessons shows students the written forms of plural words they should have familiarity
with, in oral form from previous grades. They learn how to classify them based on their singular-form
spelling and to memorize some irregular words.

Standards
Florida Sunshine State Standards
LA.B.1.2.3.3.4
The student uses parts of speech correctly in written word (including but not limited to verb tenses, plurals
of common irregular nouns, comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs).
Florida Process Standards
Effective Communicators
02 Florida students communicate in English and other languages using information, concepts, prose,
symbols, reports, audio and video recordings, speeches, graphic displays, and computer-based
programs.

Materials
-Overhead projector & several different colored markers (or chalkboard and chalk)
-Selected reading books for students to find examples of plural nouns in literature
-Enough copies of WS-1 and WS-2 for all students. (See attached files)

Preparations
1. Have clear transparency ready with two columns drawn.
2. Ensure that students have paper to take notes on.
3. From my experience you may want to provide some books for the literature activities. Some books that
are on grade level do not always have a wide selection that students can find quickly. Poetry books are
sometimes a good source.
4. Obtain a large piece of banner paper (or a papered bulletin board) to make the word wall.
5. Create columns for each of the styles of plural nouns, i.e. add -s; add -es; change -y to -ies; change -f
to -ves; and irregular. It may help to cover up the last two sections initially since they will not be used in
the first go around and also remember that adding -s will probably be the most popular, so you may want
to make it larger.
6. Provide markers or colored pencils for students to enter their selected words.
7. Create checklist of student groups to ensure that all groups have contributed the required number of
words (this will be used for grading purposes).

Procedures
Day 1:
1. Tell students the definition of singular and plural nouns. Say a sentence, such as "The dog chased the
cats" and ask students to identify the singular noun and the plural noun. You can also change the
question to ask if "dog" is singular or plural.
2. Write several singular words (all words that add -s, or -es - these will end in s, sh, ch, or x) on the board

or overhead in a left-hand column. Read them one at a time asking students to say it with you and then
for a volunteer to say the plural form. Write the plural form of the word spelled correctly in different color
ink. Have students write the same information in their spelling notebooks.
3. When there is a sufficient number of responses (usually about 10 for each type, though that may vary
with your class and frequency of similar activities) ask them to talk to their neighbors to develop a rule
about spelling plural words (this of course will not cover all words, but that's okay, we will amend it later).
4. Write that rule on the board and have students record it in their spelling notebooks. It will probably
resemble something like: To make a noun plural, add -s to it, or if it ends with ch, sh, x, or s, then add -es.
But let them develop it on their own.
Day 2:
1. On the board, draw a 2-column chart (T-chart) with a single vertical line down the center and a
horizontal line across the top. Label the left column "Singular" and the right column "Plural."
2. Quickly review what the difference between singular and plural nouns is. Select several nouns from
Day 1 and write them in to the left column. Ask children to help you to fill in the left-hand column with the
correct spelling. (You could do this by calling on them, having them come up to the board, etc.)
3. Next, group students in pairs or in threes. Tell them they will now make their own charts by using their
reading books as a source of words. They can look anywhere they want, but they must have both the
singular and plural forms spelled correctly. The number of responses they will need can change
depending on the amount of time you give them, but they should be able to get almost all of them correct
(the only ones they won't know are irregulars and -y changes to -ies, but just let those go for now). These
will be important to save for tomorrow.
Day 3:
1. Make a quick review of the words singular and plural.
2. Review the procedures for adding an "s" or adding an "es" to words to make them plural. Assign
Worksheet 1 and then review it. (See Attached Files)
Day 4:
1. Review the definition of singular and plural nouns.
2. Say a sentence, such as, The little girl picked a flower. and ask students to identify the singular nouns.
Now, ask them to identify the plural nouns in the sentence "The children picked some daisies." Write
several nouns that end in a vowel Y. (day, bay, tray, valley, boy, guy, alley, chimney) in the left-hand
column.
2. Read them one at a time asking students to say it with you and then for a volunteer to say the plural
form. Write the plural form of the word spelled correctly in a different color ink in the right-hand column.
Have students write the same information in their spelling notebooks.
3. Write several singular nouns that end in the a consonant Y (baby, daisy, story, trophy, etc.) in the lefthand column. Read them one at a time asking students to say it with you and then for a volunteer to say
the plural form.
4. Write the plural form of the word spelled correctly in different color ink in the right-hand column. Have
students write the same information in their spelling notebooks. Repeat this process with words that
ending in f that change to ves, such as roof and leaf. Do not forget to introduce the class to some irregular
nouns that do not follow the rules (children, oxen, octopi, mice, moose, geese, etc.)
5. When there is a sufficient number of responses (usually about 10 for each type, though that may vary
with your class and frequency of similar activities) ask them to talk to revisit their rule for plural words

made on Day 1 and amend it to fit this new information. They can do this in groups.
6. When groups think they have a good rule ask them to check it with other words while the rest of the
class finishes. Ask each group to write their rule on the board and compare them to see if which one
works, and if any do not. Then, reach a consensus on the best rule. Make sure they write this in their
spelling notebooks.
Day 5:
1. On the board, draw a 2-column chart (T-chart) with a single vertical line down the center and a
horizontal line across the top. Label the left column Singular and the right column Plural."
2. Remind students how to do the 2-column activity using their books. It may be difficult to find words that
end in y or are irregular so allow the use of other sources, such as newspapers, or even dictionaries.
Day 6:
1. Review all spelling changes for words as they become plural.
2. Assign Worksheet 2 and then review it. (See Attached Files.) You may wish to allow students to use
their notebooks to assist them on this worksheet, especially for the irregular words.

Assessments
Day 2: Students complete a 2-column list in pairs with 100% accuracy. This demonstrates their ability to
create plural forms of nouns from singular forms and vice versa.
Day 3: Students complete Worksheet 1. This shows their ability to rewrite a sentence an change a noun
from singular to plural spelling.
Day 5: Students complete a 2-column list in pairs with 100% accuracy. This demonstrates their ability to
create plural forms of nouns from singular forms and vice versa and their ability to recognize irregular
plurals.
Day 6: Students complete Worksheet 2. This shows their ability to rewrite a sentence and change a noun
from singular to plural spelling.
Additional Assessment:
Students write a short story using at least 10 singular nouns and 10 plural nouns (3 of which must be
irregulars). They must show a relationship between a noun by writing both its plural and singular forms
(this will count as two separate nouns). Please see the attached scoring sheet.

Extensions
To extend the lesson and mix in some art standards, as well as those related to word-processing and
publishing (LA.B.2.4.4) create primers for primary students that show a picture of a single item, with the
word written on the page, and have a picture of several items and the plural form of the noun written. This
will demonstrate their learning and a rubric can be developed to assess it. The best format for them to
demonstrate their learning is to teach someone else.

Attached Files
Worksheet #1

File Extension: pdf

Worksheet #2

File Extension: pdf

Answer Key

File Extension: pdf

Story Scoring Sheet

File Extension: pdf

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