Link Up! A Subject-Verb Agreement Game
Students will be able to choose the correct form of a verb to create a sentence with subject-verb agreement.
- Review subject-verb agreement with your students (the subject and verb agree in number; both are singular or both are plural).
- If additional review is needed, ask students to identify the subject and verb in a series of example sentences (i.e. the bear hunts for fish; we eat dinner).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Give some examples of correct subject-verb agreement (i.e. the bird flies; the birds fly).
- Point out that when the subject is singular—like bird—the verb takes its singular form (flies). When the subject is plural—like birds—the verb takes its plural form (fly).
- Explain that subject-verb agreement is important because, without it, a sentence can be confusing.
Guided Practice(8 minutes)
- Write an example sentence on the board with a blank where the verb should be (i.e. The kids ____ spaghetti.)
- Call on several students to suggest verbs that could be used to complete the sentence (i.e. eat, throw, cook, make, hate, buy). Redirect students as needed to maintain correct subject-verb agreement.
- Repeat with other example sentences (i.e. A pumpkin ____ in Spain.)
- Provide an example of a sentence that does not have subject-verb agreement (i.e. A wolf howl at the moon.) Call on a student to correct the sentence so that the subject and verb agree.
- Repeat with several incorrect sentences and have students work with a partner or small group to correct each sentence.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Hand out one pre-prepared index card to each student. Half of the class will have a subject written in red on their card (i.e. the noodle). The other half of the class will have a verb in both singular and plural form written in blue on their card (i.e. dances/dance).
- Instruct students to tape their card to their shirt.
- Have students form two concentric circles, so that students in the inner circle are facing the students in the outer circle. The students in the inner circle should have verbs taped to their shirts, while the students in the outer circle should have subjects taped to their shirts. (Tip: There should be an equal number of subjects and verbs. If there is an uneven number of students, join the game yourself.)
- Turn on some music and tell the two circles to rotate in opposite directions.
- Stop the music and say, "Link up!" at which point students should partner with the person facing them.
- Tell students to make a sentence with their partner using the subject and verb they have taped to their shirts.
- Remind students that they will need to choose the correct form of the verb so that it agrees with the subject in their sentence (i.e. The noodle dances in the bowl.)
- Post several examples of prepositional phrases so that students can use them to complete their sentences during the game (i.e. to the store; at school). This will keep the lesson focused exclusively on subject-verb agreement.
- Offer students additional practice with a basic worksheet that includes pictures, such as the Get into Grammar: Verb Fill-in worksheet.
- Use this and other subject-verb agreement lesson plans to support struggling students' understanding of grammar.
- Provide additional practice with a follow-up worksheet, such as the Noun and Verb Agreement worksheet.
- Have students read a piece of text (such as The Happy Prince worksheet) and identify five examples of subject-verb agreement as they read.
- Encourage students to write more complex sentences that are examples of subject-verb agreement (i.e. The slimy green caterpillar, whose home is in a log, eats leaves all day and night). Have students underline the subject in their sentences, and circle the verb (i.e. caterpillar/eats).
- This subject-verb agreement lesson plan can be followed up with a lesson on verb tense and/or irregular verbs.
- Collect the subject and verb cards from the game.
- Hang up two cards at the front of the room (one subject card and one verb card).
- Have students write a sentence on their personal whiteboard using the two displayed word cards.
- Tell students to hold up their sentences while you check for understanding.
- Invite a few students to share their sentences aloud with the class.
- Repeat with several different combinations of cards.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Write an example of a complex sentence on the board and ask students to look for subject-verb agreement (i.e. My family's blue house, which is the only two-story on Elm Street, runs on solar power.)
- Have students talk with a partner to identify the subject and the verb in the sentence.
- Ask guiding questions as needed (i.e. What person, place, or thing is this sentence mainly about? What verb describes an action or state of being for the subject?) Remind students to leave out adjectives when identifying the subject (i.e. house, instead of blue house).
- Call on a volunteer to share the subject and verb (i.e. house/runs).
- Ask students if the subject and verb agree or not.
- Repeat with several sentences, some with correct agreement and others without (i.e. The hall closet, where my mom keeps the broom, contain a secret passage.)