Teaching adverbs provides ample opportunities for entertainment. Since adverbs are fun descriptive words, there are plenty of ways to incorporate activities that teach adverbs into classroom lessons. Discover several fun adverbs activities your students are sure to love.
Activities With Both Adverbs and Adjectives
It’s important for students to be able to distinguish the difference between adjectives and adverbs. These activities can help students learn how to do just that.
Scavenger Hunt: Track Down Adverbs in Sentences
Emphasize that adverbs can be any type of words as long as they are words that describe verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Send students on a paper-based scavenger hunt to identify adverbs in sentences.
- Give your students a worksheet of sentences that contain both adjectives and adverbs. You can download and use the printable worksheet below or create your own.
- Copy the worksheet and provide a copy to each student.
- Tell them exactly how many adverbs are found on the worksheet and let them know that their task is to identify each adverb correctly, without incorrectly marking any adjectives.
- Let students know that they have 15 minutes to complete the activity (or whatever time limit you feel is appropriate).
- Instruct students to read each sentence carefully, then underline or circle each adjective.
- Start the timer and instruct students to begin.
- The first student who correctly identifies all of the adverbs and does not confuse any adjectives for adverbs is the winner of the contest.
Editing Challenge With Adverbs and Adjectives
To help students learn how to strengthen their writing with modifiers, give them a paragraph that does not have any adverbs or adjectives in it. Challenge them to make the piece stronger and more interesting by adding in some adverbs and adjectives.
- Use the paragraph on the printable below or come up with your own wording.
- Assign students to rewrite the text, adding in adverbs or adjectives of their choosing.
- Require them to identify each word, keeping a list and labeling each word as an adjective or adverb.
- Allow a set period of time for students to complete the activity.
- When time is up, call on students to read their revised content to the class.
- Ask some questions about which words are adverbs and which are adjectives as the students are sharing.
- Once all of the students are finished, have them vote on which edited version is the most creative and recognize the student whose work is selected.
- You may also want to award prizes or another form of recognition for students who used the most adverbs and/or adjectives.
Adverb Adjective Editing worksheetClick to View & Download
Adverb Only Activities
When students first start learning adverbs, use a few activities that focus specifically on what adverbs are and how to use them appropriately.
Real-Time Brainstorming for Adverbs
Once students have a full understanding of what an adverb is, you can ask them to brainstorm ideas for adverbs in relation to specific verbs. Review some examples of adverbs before beginning the activity. Be sure to touch on different types of adverbs.
- Choose a verb, such as singing, biking, learning, thinking, or any type of verb that represents an action students should be familiar with.
- Write the verb on the board. Ask students to list all the adverbs they can think of that would be appropriate to use to describe or otherwise modify the selected verb.
- Start a timer for 60 seconds (or whatever time frame you feel is appropriate) and tell the students to begin.
- After the timer goes off, call “time.”
- Go around the room and have each student share his or her favorite adverb from the list.
- Lead a discussion surrounding why each is or is not an adverb.
- Write the ones that are adverbs on the board.
- After everyone has shared, have the students vote on the most creative adverb. Recognize the winter with a ribbon or other prize.
- If desired, you can also award a prize to the student who came up with the most adverbs.
Add On an Adverb Activity
You can use a similar activity to help illustrate the fact that adverbs don’t only modify verbs. The purpose of this exercise is to challenge students to think of adverbs that can be correctly used to describe adjectives and other adverbs.
- Give the students a noun phrase, such as “happy dog.” In this phrase, dog is a noun and happy is an adjective.
- Challenge your students to see how many adverbs they can come up with that could work with this phrase.
- Give them an example to get started, such as saying that it is an "always very happy dog.” Always and very are both adverbs describing the adjective happy, which is describing the dog.
- Assign the students to work in pairs or small groups (depending on class size) to come up with creative combinations of adverbs to enhance the noun phrase. Give them a set amount of time.
- Encourage them to get creative by trying to make the longest adverb chain possible to describe the subject at hand.
- Once time is up, call on each group to share the longest adverb chain they came up with.
- Lead a class discussion about the responses, reinforcing correct adverb usage and providing feedback if some of the options include words that are not adverbs.
- If desired, encourage students to vote on the most creative adverb chain and recognize the group that imagined it.
- Another way of gamifying this activity would be to award a prize or some other kind of recognition to the pair or team that came up with the longest adverb chain.
Relating Adverbs to Real Life
This activity can help students see how the proper use of adverbs will help them improve their ability to communicate with others about things that they enjoy. The goal is to challenge students to select adverbs relevant to their favorite activities.
- Ask students to write the name of their favorite activity on a piece of paper. As a prompt, suggest they choose something they do for entertainment, such as a sport or game.
- Once the students have had a chance to come up with their activity, tell them that their mission is to choose an adverb to help describe their approach to that activity to another person.
- To get them started, give them an example, but tell them they can’t use the same adverbs that you use. Consider something like “I absolutely practice yoga daily,” pointing out that absolutely and daily are the adverbs.
- Give students a few minutes to think of what they’d like to say about their chosen activity.
- Once they are done, encourage them to tell everyone the activity they chose and at least one adverb they chose in relation to the activity.
- Encourage class discussion as the students share. Provide positive reinforcement and corrective feedback as warranted.
Using Activities to Teach Adverb Skills
Teaching adverbs involves helping students understand the structure of adverbs within a sentence and within the context of the English language as a whole. By making the lessons fun and engaging with activities like these, students are more likely to begin to understand how adverbs function as a grammatical tool and are going to be more comfortable incorporating adverbs into their own sentences. Consider these adverb lessons for even more ideas. You may also want to use this extensive list of adverbs to enhance your lessons.