Students who use rote memorization to spell and read may initially succeed, but will struggle as words become more complicated. Students should gain an understanding of spelling rules and patterns that will allow them to decode and build words of greater complexity, ultimately making them more successful. This lesson focuses specifically on simple plurals, such as those that just add -s or -es to make a word plural. Starting with basic spelling rules and patterns will create a foundation for strong writing, spelling, and reading skills.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Explain to students that they are going to get a list of words to cut out and sort. They are going to look for patterns and sort the words into groups that fit the patterns.
- Distribute TWO copies of the spelling sort for each student. Instruct them to cut out only one copy.
- Students work independently to try to read the words and sort them into patterns. It is all right if students do not successfully sort them, this is an independent attempt to see if they recognize patterns.
- Walk through the classroom and see how students have sorted. Ask questions to students to build understanding, such as “When you look at these words, what do they have in common?” “What do you notice about these words?” “How are these words alike/different?”
- Call students together after sorting independently. Ask what patterns they noticed. The students should have identified patterns of plurals, and differentiate between -es and -s endings. Discuss how regular plurals are made by adding -s or -es such as “rocks” or “churches”. Look for patterns in the base words to denote if you should use -s or -es. Note that base words ending s,z, and x, and ch/sh will end in -es when made plural. Words that end in other consonants and vowels will end in -s when made plural.
- As a group, create an anchor chart of the sort in the four columns. Write the spelling sort rules underneath, “In this sort, base words ending s,x, z, and ch/sh will end in -es when made plural. Words that end in most other consonants and vowels will end in -s when made plural.” Point out to students that there are exceptions and irregular plurals, which you will learn about in another lesson.
- Have students write the correct sort that you completed as a class in their spelling notebooks.
- Introduce the activity sheet where the students will follow the sort rule to change base words into plurals with the correct -es or -s ending.
- Assign homework page- students take home the second sheet of words, cut them out at home, and sort them into the columns. They practice writing the rule at the bottom. Students should practice sorting words EACH NIGHT for several days. They may use writing sorts, sorting in the grid, speed sorts, play taboo and write sentences/definitions at home with family members. Only one formal homework assignment is given here, but daily sorting and practice is encouraged, either at home or as part of your language arts center time.
- Students complete the practice sheet with a small group of students. They will play “Taboo” as they complete the sheet. Rules are on the sheet.
Common Core State Standards:
Class Sessions (45 minutes): 2 class sessions.
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