Let's Shake on It!
Students will be able to revise sentences so that subjects and verbs agree.
- 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.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(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.
Guided Practice(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.
Independent working time(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.
- 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.)
Review and closing(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.