Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
The students will:
- Be able to correctly identify adjectives.
- Be able to distinguish shades of meaning among closely related adjectives.
- Be able to use adjectives correctly in their writing.
- Be able to create or select vivid adjectives to enhance their writing as they write and revise.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Based on grade 1 language standards, students should have some background knowledge on what adjectives and nouns are and how they are used.
- Students should be able to compose a sentence using correct end punctuation.
- Students should have prior experience with creating and writing a narrative. This practice should include creating a beginning, middle, and end, and using a few details to describe people or events.
- With teacher and peer support, students should be able to develop ideas for a narrative.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What is an adjective?
- What effect do adjectives have on writing?
- For closely related adjectives, how is the meaning of this adjective slightly different from the meaning of that adjective?
- How does selecting a different adjective change the meaning of the sentence?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Conduct the beginning of lesson formative assessment. (See formative assessment section for specifics.) Afterward, the teacher can discuss/review that adjectives are used to describe nouns- people, places, and things.
- Read aloud teacher selected sections from Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book about Adjectives by Ruth Heller. (The book is 48 pages. Preview the book in advance to select the most appropriate sections based on the needs of your students.) Stop frequently during the reading of the book to point out important information in the book and to ask questions to check students' understanding. Record on chart paper or on the board definitions from the book about what adjectives are and how they are used, and also record examples of adjectives that students can refer back to later in the lesson. (For the summative assessment, students will write a short narrative to describe a real or imaginary person, so examples of adjectives that could be used to describe a person would be particularly helpful for students.)
In order to help students distinguish between shades of meaning among closely related adjectives, and to help them select more precise words for the narrative they will write in the summative assessment, please use the following handout provided by for this next activity. (When you click on the Reading Rockets link, scroll down and click on the orange link titled semantic gradients handout to access the handout.)
**It is encouraged that you write or type each word from a topic that you will use from the list onto index cards, sticky notes, or printer paper for the teacher and students to manipulate.
- Using the semantic gradients handout, the teacher will select one topic from the list and model placing the words in order from least to greatest in terms of degrees. The teacher can spread the words out horizontally or vertically either on the board using magnets or tape, under a document camera, or on an overhead projector. The teacher should model thinking aloud as they try to determine which word goes first (which is the least strong word), which next, and so forth, by thinking aloud about what each word means and which words are lesser or stronger in terms of their meaning. The final word in the list should be the strongest. Note: Depending on the topic you select and the words given for that topic on the handout, the teacher may need to select the two antonyms at the opposite ends of the spectrum and place the remaining words between them, moving from one end of the spectrum to the other.
- After the teacher has modeled one topic through a think aloud, pick another topic and set of corresponding words from the handout and have students work with you to place the words in the appropriate order.
- Next, have students work with partners to complete several topics and corresponding words from the handout. Monitor students as they work and provide feedback and support as needed. After students are done, come back together as a class and provide any whole group clarification as needed. If students show widespread difficulty, the teacher can provide additional modeling by selecting a few more topics from the handout and model placing the words in the correct order through more think alouds for the class.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- The teacher will write a simple sentence on the board. For example: The cat found a mouse in the house. The teacher will circle the nouns cat, mouse, and house and point out to students that the nouns alone do not give us any information about how they look, feel, taste, etc. The teacher will have students close their eyes and visualize that simple sentence. Lead the discussion and focus on the fact that we do not know what the cat looks like, what the mouse feels like, or what the house looks like.
- The teacher will then add adjectives to enhance the sentence and show more information about the three nouns. For example: The sneaky cat found a scared little mouse in the old house. The teacher will ask students to visualize the new sentence and discuss how the adjectives gave them a more visual picture of the sentence.
- The teacher will then model for students how selecting different adjectives, based on degrees (remind them of yesterday's activity), changes the meaning of the adjectives in the sentence by making them even more precise. For example, the first sentence could read: The strong, upset cat raced through the house searching for the small mouse that had stolen the cat's dinner. By selecting adjectives with differing degrees, the sentence could become: The burly, furious cat raced through the house searching for the tiny mouse that had stolen the cat's dinner.
- The teacher will cut up sentence strips using the sentences in the attached handout. Have students get into pairs and provide a few sentences for each pair of students to work with. It is okay if multiple pairs have the same sentences as how they revise the sentences will likely be different.
- Students will rewrite each sentence they are given by adding adjectives to describe one or two nouns in the sentence. For example, "The baby cried for his mother" becomes "The tired baby cried for his loving mother."
- The students will share their revised sentences with the class and the teacher will provide feedback as needed.
- After all students have shared, take a few of the sentences where students chose adjectives that were not very precise, and have the students work with you to select more precise adjectives to replace them. Or, you could select adjectives that were of a lesser degree and have students select an adjective with a stronger degree and work with students to understand how it changes the meaning of the sentence.
The teacher will display a life-size outline of herself/himself and have students discuss describing words (adjectives) that could be used to describe the teacher (or, if that is not preferred, any other specific person or character that students would know could be used.)
- To prompt students, the teacher can ask questions that ask students to think about color, shape, size, or personality. For example: What color are the shoes (shirt, dress, etc.) I am wearing? What shape is my hair style? What shape are my glasses? What is my personality like?
- If students need additional ideas for adjectives to describe the teacher, they can refer to the chart paper made yesterday during the read aloud.
- Each student will be given a sticky note to write down an adjective and the noun it describes about the teacher, for example: red shoes. Then, students will come up to the life-size outline one at a time and attach the sticky note to the appropriate place on the outline.
- Student responses will be discussed after every student has had a chance to place their sticky note on the outline. During the discussion, use this opportunity to work as a class to help students replace any adjectives that are not very specific with another adjective that is more precise.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
The Independent Practice is the Summative Assessment for the lesson: Students will write a short narrative to describe a real or imaginary person. They will correctly use precise, as well as vivid adjectives to describe this real or imaginary person
- Before students begin writing, work together to brainstorm ideas for who students might want to write about. Encourage them to pick someone, real or imaginary, that they can vividly describe. Note: Students may wish to use the activity from yesterday (the activity describing the teacher, or whomever the class chose to describe) for ideas on whom they might like to write about.
- Remind students that their narrative will have a beginning, middle, and end. Depending on the needs of your students, you might want to provide students with a graphic organizer, outline, or planning frame to help them construct and write their story.
- Have students begin writing. Circulate the classroom, monitor students as they work, and provide support as needed.
- When students' drafts are complete, depending on your available curriculum time you could:
- Conference with individual students to help point out areas in their story where they could use adjectives to describe their real or fictional person in more detail, or select different adjectives that are more precise.
- Collect students' drafts and provide individual written feedback to help point out areas in their story where they could use adjectives to describe their real or fictional person in more detail, or select different adjectives that are more precise.
- Collect students' drafts, provide written feedback, and then place students in small groups depending on the kind of revision assistance the students need. As students work on revising, you can provide feedback to each small group to provide further support without taking as much curriculum time as you would by conferencing with individual students.
- As students work on revising their draft, depending on students needs, you might use the following questions to prompt their thinking:
- Describe what you already have tried in your writing. What might you revise in order to be more descriptive?
- What does the person or character look like? How do they act?
- What could you describe to help your reader picture the person or imaginary character in your story? Think about colors, size, shape, words that describe feelings, words that describe personality. For example, is the character tall or short? What color hair does he/she have? What color are their eyes? Is he/she funny, angry, cool? Are they quite or very talkative?
- As students are revising, if they are having trouble creating adjectives for their narrative, have them stop and conduct this quick activity: Have the students write adjectives on their own sheet of paper. After 2-3 minutes, each student will pass their sheet to the next student for them to add more adjectives to their sheet to build off what the others wrote on the paper. Continue until everyone has written on everyone else's sheet. You might wish to be the final participant in this chain in order to cross off any words that students wrote that are not adjectives before passing the paper back to the original student. Then, have students use this list of adjectives to help them select adjectives to use in their story.
- Students will turn in their final drafts as the summative assessment for the lesson. Teachers can create their own rubric or use the one attached to this lesson.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
Students will share the final drafts of their narratives with a partner and ask their partner to identify the adjectives in their partner's writing.
The teacher can show the class (using a document camera or overhead projector) a few examples of well written student narratives and ask the class to identify the adjectives. The teacher could replace a few of the adjectives with adjectives with a slightly different shade of meaning and ask students how that change impacts the sentence.
The summative assessment will require that students create their own short narrative to use adjectives to describe a real or fictional person. Please see the independent practice section for further information.
Teachers can develop their own rubric to assess students' writing or use the attached rubric.
Before the Lesson Begins:
Individually, ask students to write down what they know or think they know about adjectives. The teacher can use student responses to make adjustments to their teaching instruction as the lesson progresses.
During the Lesson:
The following activities serve as formative assessments during the lesson:
Teaching Phase: Day 2-- semantic gradients activity
Guided Practice: Day 3-- revising the sentence strips to add adjectives activity, Day 4-- using adjectives to describe the teacher activity
The teacher will use these activities to measure students' understanding of correctly identifying adjectives in a sentence, using adjectives correctly in a sentence, and distinguishing the shades of meaning among closely related adjectives. The teacher will want to make sure that students have grasped these concepts before having students begin the summative assessment.
Feedback to Students
The teacher will provide on the spot oral feedback and help students correct any misunderstandings they have acquired during the activities in the teaching phase (day 2 semantic gradients activity) and guided practice (day 3 revising the sentence strips to add adjectives activity and day 4 using adjectives to describe the teacher activity).
Independent Practice: As students write and revise their narrative for the summative assessment, the teacher will provide feedback on students' use of adjectives. Recommendations for providing feedback to students is given in the independent practice section in the lesson.