photo Image277_1x1_zps92a4c832.gif photo Image277_1x2_zps82501ae2.gif photo Image277_1x3_zpse2f7619b.gif photo Image277_1x4_zpsbfd3d820.gif photo Image277_1x5_zps55244bd5.gif photo Image277_1x6_zpsa94012cf.gif

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adjective Riddles Freebie!

Feeling weird about my post yesterday. I hope it didn't seem like I was fishing for compliments or totally decrying Charity's 5 Star Blogger Award. I know it will really help some people refocus their blogs, and maybe I took things too personally. I know that's not what she meant, and I am grateful for the reminder that I could post more teaching content.

Thanks for your comments, though! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in feeling a little weird about the whole thing, and that my blog is liked. I know I don't have the time to comment on every blog post I read, either, so hopefully it didn't sound like I expected all of you to do that.

Please... just make sure you comment on ideas or posts or freebies you particularly enjoy (on ANY blog). I don't think I realized how important that was until I was a blogger myself!

This was a review week for adjectives, and my kids are still having a little trouble identifying adjectives in context. See, we have focused so much on imagery, similes, and other descriptive language in writing that they are really struggling to differentiate between those and just plain adjectives.

Cue the anchor chart.

It's simple, but they are in awe of my cursive skills right now, and we just added words as we read Lily's Purple Plastic Purse. (I just finally got my own copy from our book fair- yay! Love Kevin Henkes.) I realize some of these don't seem like adjectives (like "movie star") but it was used as one in the book!

One of the things they taught me to do in college was to have some kind of engaging task for students as they listen to you, like during a read aloud. In my class, the parts of speech we work on a lot each have a motion.

For a noun, we act like we are taking a picture with a camera. (You could photograph most nouns.)

For action verbs, we mime running in place. (Action!)

For adjectives, we act like we're taking notes (because we're describing a noun).

As I read aloud Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, the class made the movement for adjective whenever they thought they heard one. It helped me see who knew them really well, and also helped me notice times when they heard not-adjectives but thought they were adjectives, so we could stop and discuss.

When we shared adjectives, I wrote them on the anchor chart. (I love letting kids write on the chart, but does anyone know a way to do that without having to wait for each kid to get up to the chart? I feel like it just kills all the momentum of my lesson and I go crazy because the kids usually do too!)

Then, we used adjectives to write riddle poems in this format. No, it's not anything special, just something I made up. You could modify it!

What is ___________?
What is ___________?
What is __________________________ (rhymes with line above)
What is ___________ and __________ and ____________?

A _________________.

Then I modeled brainstorming some adjectives to see if I could think of enough for the poem...

 Here is where I keep it real. This chart is far from cute- but I modeled changing the order of the first two lines to make rhyming easier. I tend to have kids that will come up to me saying, "What rhymes with 'ridiculous'?" when they could have rhymed with something like "bad."

Then, we made the poem together. A kid came up with "slimy as a sardine." (Love it!)

A couple of student examples...

What are sweet?
What are neat?
What is something you just can't beat?
What is loyal, honest, and kind?

What is green?
What is red?
What has the rain and sun led?
What is beautiful, colorful, and untouchable?
A rainbow!

After rough drafts that you check over, have the kids fold a big piece of construction paper (you know, the ones that twice as long as normal paper?) in half. Paste the riddle on the front, and then the child's answer to the riddle (along with a drawing) on the inside. Hang so that kids can lift up the top flap to look underneath and see if they got the answer right.

It's a simple enough idea to implement, but I love finding print-and-go lessons... so here you are!

Download your freebie copy of the planning sheet and publishing papers here.

Adjective riddle poems were such a fun way to practice description, and they are an instant interactive bulletin board, too! Let me know if you try these out in your classroom!


  1. This is perfect! We are starting on adjectives next week, and I'm starting to get all my ideas ready to go!! Thank you for sharing!


    Spotted in Second Grade

  2. Thanks for putting this up! As a student teacher, I'm trying to collect as many resources as I can since I have no idea what grade I'll end up teaching yet!

  3. I am glad that my fraction stuff has been helpful to you this week! I was reading your comment and had an idea for you. You said: "I'm thinking of putting them into a cup and them pouring them into a box or something and writing the fraction of red and the fraction of yellow."

    I would consider using Unifex cubes if you have them. I set up predetermined sets of cubes and put them in baggies. I usually pick one color to focus on and them ask them to write the fraction of that color on a sheet of paper. Sometimes I even number the baggies and make them turn it in for a grade. :)

    1. What a great idea. I'm thinking of putting them in baggies and doing a game of Scoot with them. So fun. Thanks.

  4. I just found your blog through Casey's blog, and I love it! Thanks for the ideas of the mini-actions during a read aloud. I use actions for so many things, but I never thought to use them for parts of speech!

    I like the photograph idea for a noun...I always tell my kiddos a noun is something you can hold. I tell them to picture themselves as a HUUUUGE giant that can grab on to anything! That seemed to help them!

    I also love the poem freebie, and I'll be using it next week!

    Thank you!!

    We're your newest followers...hope you'll check out our blog as well :)

    Across the Hall

  5. I just saw and replied to your post on the Teacher's Notebook Forum. I think you're onto something!!! I would love to help you out if your interested!!

    1...2...3...Teach With Me

  6. Love the poem freebie!
    I'm your newest follower!

    Lovin’ First Grade

  7. That's a brilliant idea, Jenny. You sure know how to keep your students active in their lessons. Judging by your lesson plan, it should help them learn how to use different kinds of adjectives to describe an object or noun. It's a good start. Why don't you try a more comprehensive approach after they’ve mastered this lesson? Give them an example of a phrase pertaining to the object or noun. :)

    Rosalinda Hone

    1. We definitely work on other kinds of description later, with similes, metaphors, modifiers, and other descriptive phrases. This was a great way for us to focus on just adjectives, though! :) Thanks for the comment!


  8. I am going to try to incorporate this with my German lessons this week...I think it will help, but I'll let you know! :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!