Lesson plan

Let’s Get Irregular

Second graders know about plural nouns, but things get trickier when they are introduced to irregular forms. In this lesson, students will receive an introduction to irregular plural nouns.
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Students will be able to form and use irregular plural nouns.

(5 minutes)
  • Write the word “elf” on the board. Ask, “What do you call more than one elf?”
  • After students answer, write the word “elves” on the board.
  • Explain that regular plural nouns end with “s” but irregular plural nouns follow different rules.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that when nouns end with “f,” their plural form ends with “-ves.”
  • Have students brainstorm a few words that end with “f” and make the plural forms together (leaf, loaf, half, etc.)
  • Explain that when nouns end with “y” there are two rules to make the plural form:
    • If a vowel comes before the "y," add an "s."
    • If a consonant comes before the "y," you drop the "y" and add an "ies."
  • Show a few examples of these rules (spy, library, toy, etc.).
  • Finally, tell students that there are additional types of irregular plural nouns, like fish and people.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out index cards to the students and have them write as many irregular plural nouns as they can (one word per card).
  • When students finish, they can trade their cards with a partner to check their work.
  • After the entire class is finished, call on a few students to share some of the irregular plural nouns they formed.
  • Ask students to think about how they could use their irregular plural noun in a complete sentence. Have them turn and share their sentence with a partner.
  • Request that volunteers share their sentence with the whole group.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out Plural Noun Sort and Getting Irregular worksheets. Have students complete the worksheets independently.
  • Afterwards, have students share their answers in partnerships. Instruct students to share every other answer. For example, have one partner say, "What is the plural form for the word fish?" Then, have the other partner provide the requested information. Next, have them switch question and answer roles after the shared answer.
  • Remind students to use complete sentences in their answers (e.g., "The plural word for fish is fish.")


  • Have students write sentences featuring more than one irregular plural noun.


  • Help students to see the rules of irregular plural nouns by underlining the ending of the nouns.
  • Provide sentence frames and teacher modeling during partnership sharing and presentations.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess students’ understanding by observing how they are forming irregular plural nouns and how they are distinguishing between regular and irregular plural nouns. Also, note how they used the irregular plural nouns in a sentence when sharing with partners.
  • Pay attention to their work on the worksheets, particularly how they are writing plural nouns.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students popcorn share irregular plural nouns using a complete sentence.
  • Write the following sentences on the board and have students form and use the correct irregular plural noun to complete the sentence:
    • There are 20 ____ in this class. (children)
    • I love the famous song about the three blind ____. (mice)
    • How many ____ have you lost in your mouth? (teeth)
    • Can you hop with both ____? (feet)
    • My aquarium has twelve ____. (fish)

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