Lesson plan

Associating Adjectives

Can your students associate similar adjectives and nouns using the roots and suffixes? In this lesson, students will learn how to associate nouns with adjectives. Along the way, they will use the roots and affixes to determine the meaning.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
  • Students will be able to use knowledge of word roots to associate adjectives with corresponding nouns.
  • Students will be able to write the noun that is associated with each adjective and use the noun to determine the meaning.
(5 minutes)
  • Remind students that sometimes we can look inside words to help determine the meaning, like how we can look inside compound words and find the individual parts.
  • Tell the students that there are times we can look inside a word and make a new word from the existing word. Tell the students that they will be learning how to look inside certain adjectives and find the corresponding nouns. Those words can be used to help determine the meaning.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite the students to sit in a semicircle in a central location.
  • Place the index card with the word milky in the middle of the circle.
  • Using one of the black pieces of construction paper, model the process of covering the letter y and revealing the word milk.
  • Think aloud, explaining how you found the noun, milk, inside the adjective milky.
  • Continue thinking aloud, explaining how the word milk can help someone determine the meaning of the adjective milky, which has the suffix -y.
  • Repeat the process with the word card tricky.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute one black rectangle to each student.
  • Tell the students that they will be covering part of the adjectives to reveal nouns. They will then use the nouns to determine the broader meaning of the adjective that contains a suffix.
  • Continue with the following word cards: bossy, sunny, oily, lifelike, and Japanese.
  • Invite students to place one of their black cards on a letter so that only the noun shows.
  • Guide the students through the process of finding each noun and using the noun to determine the meaning of the corresponding adjectives.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet Naming Nouns and Associating Adjectives.
  • Circulate around the room and assist students as needed. If students have difficulty identifying the nouns, you can cross out one or more letters to give them a clue and an additional example.


  • Challenge students to brainstorm other variations of studied words. Ask them to use the new words in context.


  • Ask the students to complete the Match the Noun worksheet. Guide the students through the process of identifying related nouns.
  • Use an interactive whiteboard to digitally model the process of eliminating letters to determine the noun.
(5 minutes)
  • Give students several adjectives. Ask the students to write the corresponding nouns and explain the words in context.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to do some reverse associations. Challenge them to create an adjective from a specific noun.
  • Ask students to summarize and share in a class discussion how they can use parts of a word to determine the meaning.

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