Grade: Elementary

#364. Coloring Language w/ adverbs and adjectives

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Mar 23 15:30:51 PST 1998 by Stephen Tamargo (
U. of South Florida, Tampa, Fl, USA
Materials Required: overhead, pen, paper
Activity Time: 30-45 minutes
Concepts Taught: adverbs, adjectives, mood & color in writing


The students will be able to:
-- use adverbs and adjectives to add meaning, mood, and color to a paragraph.


* Review the definition of adverbs and the four questions that they answer (how, when, where, to what extent). Review the concept of adjectives and the difference between the two descriptive parts of speech.
* Show them a paragraph on the overhead written very plainly with no adverbs or adjectives (see attached for example). Tell the class that the mood and meaning of the paragraph can be changed by the careful use of adverbs and adjectives.
* Tell the class they are going to enliven the paragraph by setting a mood with adverbs and adjectives. Take suggestions for possible moods and choose the one you think can be most easily done. Take suggestions from the class for adverbs and adjectives to color the writing (at least one per sentence). When finished, read it aloud and let the class decide whether the mood is consistent. Revise if necessary.
* If time permits, erase the example and re-write the paragraph in a different mood.
* Hand out a sheet with another plain paragraph (or put it on the overhead) and tell the students pick a mood and re-write the paragraph in pairs using adverbs and adjectives that are consistent with the mood. They should conclude the story by adding a few sentences.
* After giving them a few minutes to finish, have the students read their creations aloud.


*Collect the paragraphs and see whether they used the adverbs and adjectives properly and if they are consistent with the chosen mood.

Example 1 (for class to do):

Owen entered the classroom. The class had come back from
lunch and it was time to take the math test. He sat down at
his desk and took out a pencil. The teacher told the class
to settle down and began to pass out the test papers. Owen
watched as she worked her way down the aisle towards his desk.
The paper slid on to his desk and he looked at the first problem.


Example 2 (for students to do in pairs)

Pat and Sandy walked to their new neighbor's house. Their
mother had made some cookies as a kind of welcome to the
neighborhood present. The neighbor's house stood on the
corner of the street and was surrounded by a fence. The
children looked at the house as they passed through the

"Look!" said Pat and pointed at a cat in the window. Soon
they were down the front path and stood in front of the door.

"Well, ring it!" said Sandy and Pat did so. They waited
for someone to answer. Soon they heard footsteps and the door opened.