I’m sure you know teaching grammar is not easy. There are so many different rules and exceptions to the rules which makes teaching grammar to our students challenging. We have lots of grammar skills we can work on with our students but today it’s all about plurals. Recently I’ve been working with some of my students on plurals and it’s not easy. What I have found helpful when teaching any specific grammar skill is make it interactive and use lots and lots of repetition. The more practice the better and sometimes the students just have to memorize the ending on a word to make it grammatically correct. I’m going to share some of the activities I have been using with my students to work on plural concepts.
Singular and Plural Boards
I recently made these singular and plural boards to help my students understand the concept of plurals. I’ll explain how I’ve been using them and then provide the link if you are interested in using these as a free resource with your students too. I was working with a couple students on following directions and I found whenever I had a plural concept in the direction my student was not able to follow the direction. If I said “point to the cats” my student would point to the picture of one cat instead of multiple cats. After not being able to do this skill I realized some of my other activities with plurals would be too difficult so I needed to really teach this concept which led me to make these plural boards. I wanted my students to first be able to sort images into singular and plural groups so they could visually understand the difference. I made half size and full size boards depending on your group size or ability to attend the task. I started out having my students sort the regular plural nouns onto the two different boards. I showed my student the picture of “one cat” and “many cats” and modeled “one cat” and then “cats”. Really stressing that added /s/ sound at the end of the word. We did this for many pictures just me saying the words and then we decided which board to place the picture. For example, “boat” and “boats”. Again I just wanted them to visually see the difference of one item vs many and then stress that /s/ ending sound on the word.
After my students seem to start understanding this concept of singular and plural forms I tried to have them identify the picture and then place it on the correct board. For this I placed both pictures on the table and told the student what picture to select again really over exaggerating that /s/ sound when I said the plural form of the noun. For example, “take dogs”. I want the student to find the picture of 3 dogs and place it on the plural board. Then I had them place the single dog picture on the singular board and just model the word again “one dog”. I continued to do this with other noun pictures.
You could also target expressive language skills and give the student a picture and have them tell you the correct form of the noun either verbally or with an AAC device. After showing them the picture of cookies maybe they can say “cookies” or find it on their AAC device and add the plural /s/ to the word. Another great skills to work on being able to verbally add that plural ending.
If you are working on your student understanding the concept of plurals I would stick with the regular plural cards first. Really focus on this so your students understands the concept before moving to those tricky irregular plurals. You can do these same activities for those irregular plurals. After teaching some of those irregular plurals place both pictures on the table and tell the student which picture to select. For example “take geese”. Now some of those irregular plural forms stay the same so you might need to use the word in a sentence to see if the student can figure out which picture to select. I might say “I see lots of deer.” These can be challenging!
After you have worked on teaching these plural concepts here are some other ideas to keep practicing and reviewing those plural concepts. The more practice the better especially when it comes to learning those irregular plural forms. That is all about practice and memorization!
Receptive Singular and Plural Task Cards
After teaching plural concepts you might want to use these receptive singular and plural task cards to continue to practice those plural concepts. This set contains 100 cards! I like having lots of cards so my students don’t just memorize the same few cards. For this set I created a singular and plural card for each targeted noun. For example “find the shoe” and “find the shoes”. That why the student gets practice with both the singular and plural form of each noun.
I also incorporates lots of different irregular plural forms. Some are the more common irregular plural forms such as “flies”, “leaves” or “buses”. Those irregular plurals can be difficult and take practice to learn.
You use these cards at an independent work station. Just have your student use a dry erase marker or clip to mark the right answer. After your student completes a certain number of cards you can check them. If you are using these at an independent work station it should be to reinforce and practice this skill so they should get most of them correct.
Plural Grammar Boards
Here is another activity you can use with your students if they are working on plural concepts. This set of Plural Grammar Boards has 60 different cards which target both those regular and irregular plural concepts.
Have the student look at the picture and then either you read them the choice of answers or have your student read the answers. They can point to, circle, or verbally tell you the correct answer. Again, you can also have the students complete some cards during independent work and then you can check them. The student can use a dry erase marker or clothes pin to mark the correct answer on the grammar board. After they complete a set number of cards you can check them.
Regular and Irregular Plural Bingo
Playing games always makes learning more fun and helps reinforce the skills you are working on with your students. I made 5 different regular plural boards, 5 irregular plural boards, and 5 combination boards. The boards do not have the same pictures so it is more challenging for the students.
Show your student the calling card and have them provide the correct plural form. You can practice providing the plural form on their AAC devices too. This is often a challenging skill to work on with my students who have AAC devices. It’s always good to model both those regular and irregular plural forms. Maybe they can even use the plural form in a sentence.