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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

ESL Grammar Exercises on Adjectives
By:Joel Barnard

Adjectives make up about one-fourth of the English language, and native speakers may use these adjectives in a variety of ways and forms. Therefore, it is important that an English language teacher incorporate a wide range of adjective-based grammar activities into her lessons so that ESL students learn to recognize and use adjectives correctly.

Comparative Adjectives
This activity is for students to practice forming comparative adjectives. Prepare three or more sentences comparing students in your class. Read out your sentences to the class. For example, "He is bigger than Rodrigo," "He has longer hair than Pedro," and "He does his homework more often than Julia." The class then has to guess to which student you are referring. Divide the class into groups of three or four, and ask them to write their own sentences comparing students in the class. Circulate and give help where necessary. When most of the groups have finished, ask them to read their sentences to the class. The class must then guess to which student each group is referring.

Word Order of Adjectives
In this activity, students practice ordering adjectives. Type out a series of sentences containing several adjectives before nouns; for example, "I saw a big, black, angry dog yesterday." Keeping the sentences separate from one another, cut them up into individual words. Put the students into groups and give them sets of cut-up sentences. They must put the sentences into the correct word order. You can give each group points for the number of sentences they get correct if you wish.

Superlative Adjectives
Students practice forming superlative adjectives. Write five words related to one topic on the blackboard or whiteboard. You might choose the topic, "Places," and write on the board, "Paris," "New York," "London," "Tokyo," and "Cape Town." Divide the students into groups. Each group must, in turn, form a sentence containing a superlative adjective about one of the words on the board. For example, "Rio is the most beautiful." When one group cannot form a superlative using a word on the board, they are out and the activity continues without them. Continue until only one group remains, award them one point, and start a new round with a new set of related words.

Adjective-Noun Combinations
In this activity, students practice forming adjective-noun combinations. Write on the blackboard/whiteboard, "I went to the beach today and I bought a delicious ice cream and ..." Pick a student at random to repeat the sentence and add a new adjective and noun combination to it. For example, "I went to the beach today and I bought a delicious ice cream and saw a magnificent seagull." Pick another student, again at random, to repeat this sentence and add a new adjective and noun combination to it. If a student forgets the sentence or can't add anything to it, she is out and the activity continues without her. Continue in this fashion until only one student, the winner, remains.

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