If apple is “apples” in its plural form, then why is a cherry not “cherrys” in the plural form?
Such intriguing questions are common in the minds of little learners. When they explore the topic of singular and plural words, they are most likely to associate the words with the letter S as it is one of the easiest ways to convert.
However, students must decode the usage of different suffixes used for making plural forms. It can be super confusing for little learners to understand the context if the fundamentals are not clear. It is thereby important to equip learners with the right teaching methods that help them understand the crux of the subject matter.
Besides theoretical understanding, games and activities help you teach different suffixes including s, es, ies, ves, and so on without compromising on the fun factor. Games and activities make it easy and exciting for students to equip themselves with the common rules of making plural forms from singular words. Given that, this article will take you through well-designed games and activities that focus on decoding the essence of singular and plural words in various ways.
Fun singular and plural games and activities
Singular and plural games and activities are an innovative way to teach the concept where students get an opportunity to engage and exchange learning. The below-mentioned games and activities are designed to provide a helpful way of decoding the concept with understanding and critical thinking.
1. Picture Decode
Students are certain to understand the concept of singular and plural when they see pictures. For this game, divide the students into teams of 3 members each. Now, print many different pictures that have singular and plural features in them. Two teams compete together in this game.
Show the teams the picture and whichever team raises their hand, gets to answer. They need to decide if the picture represents a singular or plural and the right answer gets one point. Similarly, show 10-15 pictures, and the team with maximum points wins the game. Through such a game, students also increase their visual thinking abilities. Visual discrimination activities like this broaden the imagination and thinking capabilities of little learners.
2. Challenge Me!
When students compete with each other, they are more likely to explore the subject matter with depth and precision. This game involves challenging each other and decoding the crux of singular and plural words. For this game, divide the students into teams of 2 members each and introduce the concept of regular nouns where s is used to make them into plural forms.
Two teams compete together and have to be quick here. For this, Team A starts with any singular/plural word and Team B needs to say the opposite in the minimum possible time. For example, if Team A says car, Team B needs to say cars to get a score. After the first round, the opposite team gives a word. Calculate the score and declare the winner at the end. They can use words like fan, pillow, house, fruit, or board. This game will help students to not only think about the answer which is by adding “s” at the end of the word but also think of the words whose plurals are in this form.
3. Quiz Begins!
Quizzes are always fun as they test the understanding of students with reference to the subject matter. It is an interesting game that helps students choose the correct option and win it in the minimum possible time. For this game, prepare a quiz with incomplete blanks.
Distribute the quiz to all students and allow students to read everything. They need to choose the right word indicating singular or plural depending on the statement. Collect the quiz and calculate the scores. The student who completes the quiz with the right answers wins the game.
4. Find the Match!
Matching activities and games help students create relatability with the subject. It also allows them to work in a collaborative environment where they exchange ideas. For this activity, you will need 2 sets of cards. One set shall have singular words ending with S, CH, SH, X, or Z and the other set shall have plural words in the picture format. Explain to them how these words have es as the plural form at the end.
Begin the activity by making students stand in a circle. Let each student select one card which they should not show to other students. Play the music and let them dance around. Now, pause the music and let students find their pairs. For example, if the word is brush, they need to find a card with a picture of brushes to make the pair. Some of the words you can use are dish, match, box, quiz or bus.
5. Beyond the S!
Singular and plural words are often easily taught with the usage of the letter S. It becomes easier for students to identify singular or plural words simply by recognizing S in many words. However, this activity focuses on offering knowledge beyond such words to create a comprehensive learning environment.
For this activity, write many singular words on the blackboard that do not need the letter S for the plural forms. Now, invite each student to write the correct plural form or say it aloud to the class. For example, if the singular word is child, students should say children in the plural form. Similarly, you can do this for plural words too where students write the singular form.
6. Plural Kingdom
Singular and plural words are way beyond everyday language. It is crucial to teach the concept with a complete understanding of various aspects. For this activity, you need to prepare a simple presentation and attach mixed pictures of singular words. Use words ending with Y, F, or Fe to equip them with the necessary knowledge. Make a set of placards with the plural suffixes – ves and ies.
As the activity begins, divide the students into a team of 2 members each. Now, show the picture on the screen. The teams need to answer as per their turn with the help of placards.
For example, if it is a cherry, students need to raise the pla card with “ies”, and if the word is “knife”, then the student needs to raise the pla card “ves”. Assist them wherever needed to make it an interactive activity.
7. Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt is a popular activity where students search for different elements in their surroundings. However, here is the twisted form for this activity. In this, prepare many flashcards and spread them across the classroom in different areas. Make sure that these are all pictures of singular or plural words.
Now, assign each student a set of 5-7 words in a list. They need to roam around and find the pictures that match the word. For an extra challenging phase, you may assign the same words to many students and see who finds it first. For example, if the word is “foot”, they need to find a picture of feet. The activity ends when all students find the flashcards and make the right pairs according to their lists.
8. Sort it Out!
Children might get confused as there are many suffixes needed to make singular words into plural forms. For this activity, you need to write the suffixes on the board and make different columns for the same. For example, the suffixes can be – s, es, ies, and ves. Now, have a different set of pictures of singular words with their names below and arrange them in a box.
Divide the students into teams of 2 members each. After this, each team picks a picture from the box and sticks it to the column of suffix that best matches it. For example, if the picture is of a raspberry, they need to decode the plural form of raspberries and stick the same picture under the ies column.
Games and activities form the base of learning when students are newly introduced to a grammatical concept. The concept of singular and plural words is confusing due to their conversion from one to another. The above-mentioned games and activities help create a fun learning environment where students can freely raise queries and clarify their doubts. It also helps develop critical thinking, creativity, and grammatical skills for enhancing language and communication.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn