Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Adverbs are considered descriptive or modifying words, and can often be confused with adjectives, which are related words but words used to describe nouns.
Teaching adverbs provides ample opportunities for entertainment, since they are fun descriptive words and students can create a long string of adverbs to describe their favorite activities. Here are some great ideas for activities with adverbs that are sure to please all ages.
Activities with Adverbs and Adjectives
The first activity that should be done with students is to help them distinguish the difference between adjective and adverbs. While most adverbs end in the letters "ly," this is not always the case. In fact, frequency adverbs, or adverbs use to describe when or how often something occurs, do not end in "ly."
Adverb Scavenger Hunt
In order to emphasize that adverbs can be any type of words as long as they are words that describe verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, you can have an adverb scavenger hunt.
- Give your students a worksheet of sentences that contain both adjectives and adverbs.
- Tell your students exactly how many adverbs are found on the worksheet and then allow them to begin reviewing the sentences to find them.
- The first student who correctly identifies all of the adverbs and does not confuse any adjectives for adverbs is the winner of the contest.
You can also:
- Give your students a related worksheet in which adjectives and adverbs are used in sentences, but this time have the sentences misuse some adjectives as adverbs and vice versa.
- Ask the students to identify all of the adjective/adverb mistakes that appear in the sentences.
- The first student who correctly identifies all of the misused adjectives or adverbs wins the contest.
Once students have a full understanding of what an adverb is, you can ask them to brainstorm lists of adverbs. You can also make this game more fun by giving them a verb, an adjective or another adverb.
- Ask each student to think up a different adjective to describe his or her feelings towards singing, biking, learning, thinking, or any type of verb that you wish to choose.
- Have the students go around the room to see who can come up with the most creative adverb to describe the verb at hand.
You can also use a similar technique to illustrate the fact that adverbs describe adjectives and other adverbs.
- Give the students a word that they need to describe and an adjective describing that word.
- Challenge your students to see how many additional adverbs they can come up with to describe either the adjective or the word itself. For example, if you challenge the students to use adjectives to describe the "happy dog" they could come up with additional adverbs like the "always very" happy dog. Always and very are both adverbs describing the adjective happy which is describing the dog.
- Encourage your students to try to make the longest adverb chain possible to describe the subject at hand.
- Use adverb flashcards with definitions to introduce new adverb vocabulary words.
You can also encourage the students to come up with an adverb to describe their favorite activity.
- Go around the room and ask the students to each name their own activity, choose an adverb to explain that activity, and then explain why they chose that adverb.
- To make the game more difficult, require each student to come up with a different adverb that has not been used before.
Teaching adverbs, like teaching any part of speech, involves helping students understand the structure of adverbs within the context of the sentence and within the context of the English language as a whole. By making the lessons fun and engaging, 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 and into the language they use daily.