While nouns and verbs form a basis for conducting sentences, adjectives add details and make these sentences longer and more ‘beautiful’. Teaching and practising adjectives with kids may bring lots of fun and great result if you use proper games. Let’s provide you with some essential and effective ESL classroom games that you can apply in primary school to practise adjectives. Some of the activities are taken from the book “Five-minute activities” by Penny Ur.

Introduce yourself

This activity may be carried out at the beginning of the school year when each student introduces himself/herself by saying “I am Nick. I am tall. My hair is dark”, etc. A variation of the game is called “Compare yourselves”. Here students work in pairs and find different ways of comparing themselves. They make up sentences, such as “I am shorter than you. You are taller than I am. Your eyes are darker than mine”, etc. This activity will not only help your students to practise adjectives but also comparatives.

Feel the object

Collect different objects from your students, such as a pen, book, pencil, etc. Put all these objects in a bag and ask each of your students to choose one of them without looking and to describe the object. For example, it is round, small, big, soft, hard, etc. To make the game more challenging, you may ask them to identify the object by feeling it.

How do you feel?

Ask your students to close their eyes and to think about how they feel. When they are ready with their answers, get them to describe their feelings using proper adjectives, such as ‘tired, happy, sad, gloomy, relaxed, crazy, angry’, etc.

Match the adjectives

Write three adjectives on the board. Mind that these adjectives should be known to your students. For example, beautiful, yellow, bright.

Ask your students to think of some things that could be described by all these three adjectives. For example:

Student A: flowers

Student B: a car

My neighbour’s cat

Draw a cat on the board. Introduce it as your neighbour’s cat. Tell them that this cat is an amazing cat. Write down the word ‘amazing’ on the board and all (for lower levels several) letters of the alphabet. Get your students to think of other adjectives with the corresponding letters to describe the cat. For example:

A, Amazing

B bad, big, black

C clever, cute

D dirty, dark

E expensive, excellent

Of course, instead of a cat, it can be a dog, house, person, etc. The most important thing is to choose a thing that can be described by lots of adjectives.

Show and tell

Ask your students to bring objects from home. They work in pairs and describe these objects using as many adjectives, as possible. While describing the objects, each pair writes down the adjectives his/her classmate is using. Then the teacher checks these notes. The student who has used more appropriate adjectives becomes a winner.

Expanding sentences

Write down a short simple sentence on the board. For example, “The boy is reading a book”. Get your students to add adjectives to the sentence without ruining its logic. For example, “The little boy is reading an interesting book”. The activity will also help them to practise adjective order in a sentence.

Adjective Mix up

Give each of your students two sticky notes. Ask them to write down one adjective and one noun on them. Then have them mingle and find appropriate adjectives or nouns to use with theirs and to make up logical sentences. Continue the activity until all your students work in pairs and make up proper sentences.

What involving activities do you use for practising adjectives?

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