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Pedagogy 3 - How to teach adjectives?

Adjectives are the vibrant elements that add color, depth, and detail to our language. Teaching them effectively can unlock creativity and enhance communication skills in students. Inspired by Dianne Tavenner’s book Prepared, this blog explores innovative pedagogical strategies to make learning adjectives engaging, memorable, and impactful.

Project-Based Learning: The Adjective Adventure

Project-based learning (PBL) is a central theme in Tavenner's educational philosophy. PBL can be a powerful tool for teaching adjectives. Here’s how to implement it:

  1. The Adjective Brochure Project:

  • Objective: Create a descriptive brochure for a local park.

  • Process: Divide students into small groups, each responsible for different sections of the brochure—flora, fauna, activities, amenities, etc.

  • Execution: Students explore the park (physically or virtually), take notes, and use vivid adjectives to describe their assigned sections.

  • Outcome: This project not only teaches students about adjectives but also enhances their observational skills and connects learning to the real world.

Real-World Applications: Making Adjectives Matter

Real-world applications make learning adjectives practical and relevant, a key point in Tavenner’s philosophy.

  1. Adjective in Action:

  • Descriptive Reviews: Have students write reviews for local restaurants, businesses, or books, using a rich variety of adjectives.

  • Marketing Projects: Students create advertisements for fictional products, emphasizing the use of compelling adjectives to attract consumers.

  • Community Descriptions: Assign students to describe their neighborhoods or city landmarks, integrating local knowledge with language learning.

Reflection and Self-Assessment: Growing Through Reflection

Reflection and self-assessment help students internalize what they’ve learned and recognize their progress.

  1. Adjective Journals:

  • Daily Entries: Students maintain journals where they reflect on their use of adjectives in different contexts.

  • Self-Evaluation: Encourage students to evaluate which adjectives were most effective and why, fostering a deeper understanding of their descriptive power.

  • Goal Setting: Guide students to set goals for expanding their adjective vocabulary and using them more effectively in writing and speech.

Example Lesson Plan

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Explain what adjectives are and their importance.

  • Provide examples of how adjectives can change the meaning and tone of a sentence. Interactive Activity (20 minutes)

  • Divide students into small groups.

  • Give each group images and ask them to come up with adjectives to describe each one. Project Work (30 minutes)

  • Introduce the brochure project for a local park.

  • Groups work on different sections, using adjectives to describe their assigned aspects. Mentorship and Feedback (20 minutes)

  • Pair groups with mentors for feedback.

  • Allow time for revision based on feedback. Presentation (20 minutes)

  • Groups present their brochure sections to the class.

  • Classmates and mentors provide additional feedback. Reflection (10 minutes)

  • Students write a reflection on what they learned about adjectives and how to use them effectively.


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