Lesson plan

Inflectional Endings: -ing

Use a silly movie clip and fun activity to teach your second graders how to spell and recognize words with the inflectional ending *-ing*.
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Students will be able to recognize and write words that contain the inflectional ending -ing.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather your students together.
  • Review short/long vowel sounds and the idea of spelling patterns (th, ing, two vowels, etc.).
  • Explain that today you will focus on something called an inflectional ending. Define an inflectional ending as a group of letters that are added to the end of a word to change its meaning.
  • Tell your students they'll be learning about the inflectional ending -ing.
  • Give your class an example of how to take a base word, a word that gives another word its basic meaning, and change it using -ing. For example, when play becomes playing, it's something that you do in the present tense, or right now.
  • Play the video clip The -ing Song by The Electric Company using your classroom projector.
(10 minutes)
  • Choose volunteers to tell you which words they heard and saw in the clips. Review base words with the class (such as sleep, grow, chew, burn, and fight) by writing them on the whiteboard or chart paper.
  • Add -ing to each word and review how it changes the meaning of the base word to active present tense, or what is happening now.
  • Explain that if there is a silent e at the end of a base word, then students must drop the e when adding the -ing. Write words on the whiteboard or chart paper to illustrate, such as shake, come, wake, and bake.
  • Add -ing to each of the base words, demonstrating how to drop the e when adding the -ing.
  • Explain that there is one more spelling rule to know about adding -ing to a word. If a word has a short vowel sound and follows the vowel + consonant ending, then you need to double the consonant before adding -ing.
  • Give your class some examples to help them understand this rule. For example: swim to swimming, tap to tapping, etc.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the following words up on your whiteboard or chart paper that follow the three patterns discussed in the previous section: play, dress, jump, shop, hope, dance.
  • Ask students to pair-share with a partner how they would write the words play and dress with an -ing ending.
  • Go over each word with your students and practice changing the ending to -ing.
  • Write a sentence (with input from your students) using each new word in the present tense. For example: "I am running" rather than "I run."
  • Tell the students that they will now practice using inflectional endings on their own.
(15 minutes)
  • Go over the instructions for the Drop the E, Add -ing worksheet with the class and answer any questions about it.
  • Pass copies of the worksheet out and have students work independently.
  • Circulate around the room and offer support as needed.


  • Gather students who need additional support understanding the different spelling rules associated with adding -ing and work with them as a small group going over base words together.
  • For additional support, write base words on index cards and provide students with small whiteboards to practice writing the base word and the new word that includes the inflectional ending -ing.


  • For additional practice for students who quickly finish the practice worksheet and/or need a more challenging activity, have students go on an “ing” word hunt using books in the classroom library. See if students can identify the base word (did it contain an e or a single consonant?) before the -ing was used.
(5 minutes)
  • Collect the worksheets and assess whether students were able to correctly spell each word using the inflectional ending -ing.
(5 minutes)
  • After the 15 minutes of independent work time has concluded, ask students to return to the rug with their worksheets.
  • Review -ing word rules as a whole class by writing words on the board and having student volunteers say each word aloud and explain what needs to happen when adding the -ing. Discuss student questions as needed.

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