Lesson plan

Let's Shake on It!

Students will enjoy thinking about subject and verbs as two parts that must work together to form a clear idea. Students will create mixed-up sentences as a class, then write funny stories that peers can revise.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to revise sentences so that subjects and verbs agree.

(10 minutes)
  • Split the class into two groups.
  • Have half of the class write a subject on their index card and the other half write a predicate.
  • Encourage the subject group to include both singular and plural subjects. Example subjects: the snowman, my pet frog, the yellow school buses. Example predicates: go over the speed limit, melted in the sun, hops across the pond.
  • Put all of the subjects in one container and all of the predicates in another container.
  • Select one subject and one predicate and put them together to read a sentence to the class. Some of the combinations will agree and some of them won’t, since you will get a random mix of singular and plural.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the class why some of the sentences didn’t sound right. They should note that the subject and verbs didn’t always agree.
  • Explain that when you form a sentence, a single subject must have singular verb, and a plural subject must have a plural verb.
  • Draw more examples from the containers to make sentences, adjusting the verbs or subjects so that they agree. Call on students to try.
  • Also explain that the verb tenses within a sentence must agree, or be consistent. For example, you wouldn’t say, “Dave went for a bike ride, cleans his room, and then is going to lunch.”
  • Ask students to work in pairs to create sentences that have incorrect verb tense agreement.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Subject/Verb Agreement with Gabriella Grammar.
  • Go over the instructions at the top, noting the subject verb agreement rules.
  • Instruct students to complete the practice exercises independently or with a partner.
(30 minutes)
  • Instruct students to write a fun short story that includes at least five errors in subject/verb agreement.
  • Have students trade stories with a classmate and fix the errors.
  • Another option would be to have students read their stories to the class, and when they get to an error the class shouts “STOP!” and the reader calls on a student to correct the error.


  • Conduct a shared-writing experience using the short story activity. Write the error-filled story as a class, then make copies of it for another class to identify the errors.


  • Extend this activity by having students try some beginning sentence diagramming with the worksheet Diagramming Sentences: Subject and Verb.
(5 minutes)
  • Write some combinations of subjects and verbs on the board: some that agree, and some that don’t. Have students identify the ones that don’t agree. (Examples include birds fly, child play, horse are, airplanes is.)
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss: How is noun/pronoun agreement similar to subject/verb agreement? Provide the example: The cupcakes fell and now we can’t eat it.

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