Topic: Phrase

These resources look at how words group together into regular units called phrases. Each type of phrase is organised around a particular type of Head word; for example, the Head of a noun phrase is a noun.

Noun phrase competition

Creating longer (expanded) noun phrases

Noun phrases can be of any length, from one word to very many words. This activity is a team competition where students' goal is to score as many points as they can by creating longer and longer noun phrases. As they do this, they will implicitly rely on their knowledge of grammar, and they will begin to see a range of different ways to expand noun phrases.

Phrase types: Snap

This is a simple game based on the idea of ‘Snap!’ in which you have to match up phrases with other phrases of the same type. The game can be played in class with cards. To print off your own sheet of snap cards to play in class, click on the downloadable handout below. Then print and cut out the cards. Pairs of students turn over one card at a time, and if they each put down a phrase of the same type, they call 'Snap'. The first to call 'Snap' wins the pile of cards. Play continues until one player holds all the cards.

Ambiguity and headlines

Newspaper headlines often compress sequences of actions into very compact structures. Sometimes the meaning becomes ambiguous as a result.

Ambiguity and headlines: Activity

Police chase driver in hospital

Violinist linked to Japan Airlines crash blossoms

BT ducks break-up with price cuts

Reagan wins on budget, but more lies ahead

Juvenile court to try shooting defendant

Building verb phrases

In this resource we’ll look at how verb phrases can be built up by putting auxiliary verbs and main verbs together.

Building verb phrases: Activity

In this activity, use the interactive whiteboard to build verb phrases. Can you use all the words and make every verb phrase grammatical?

Encourage your students to explore the meaning of the verb phrases they construct: how does the use of modal verbs affect the meaning of the main verb, for example? What about the tense?

Drag words next to each other and they will 'snap' together. Double-click to 'unsnap'.

Form and function: Activity 1

Analysing the way that form and function are related

In the exercise you'll be asked to identify the function and the form of the highlighted words.

Identify the Function

Identify the function of the highlighted words in the following sentences.

Noun phrase generator

Students can generate noun phrases using a quick and easy smartboard tool.

Goals

  • Create some new noun phrases.
  • Examine what can and can't happen in noun phrases.
  • Evaluate example noun phrases, looking at why they do or don't work.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will be generating noun phrases. 

Noun phrase generator: Activity

Use the interactive whiteboard to generate weird and wonderful noun phrases. 

Passives with 'get'

Goals

  • Identify the difference between a get-passive and a standard passive.
  • Describe some of the differences between get-passives and standard passives in terms of grammar, semantics, and pragmatics.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at passives.

First, let's briefly review our understanding of actives, and of passives and get-passives. 

Passives with 'get': Activity

Uncle Ahmed was bitten by the snake.
Uncle Ahmed got bitten by the snake.

A large house was demolished on Westmoreland Hill.
A large house got demolished on Westmoreland Hill.

These temples were abandoned in medieval times.
These temples got abandoned in medieval times.

Phrases: coordination

In this activity, students look at phrases conjoined by coordinating conjunctions.

Goals

  • Identify different types of phrases which have been conjoined with coordinating conjunctions.
  • Consider the effect of conjoining more than one phrase.
  • Consider the effect of omitting coordinating conjunctions.

Lesson plan

Click on the interactive whiteboard icon (top right) and work through the following slides with students.

Sentence building

In this activity, students ask the question: what is a sentence? Then, they answer it using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Goals

  • Identify sentences and non-sentences.
  • Create some examples of sentences and non-sentences using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will answer the question: what is a sentence?

Tense and aspect in fiction

Exploring the use of tense and aspect in a range of literary texts

In this activity we will examine some short extracts from novels. The idea is to look at the tense and aspect forms used, and think about how they are used to unfold the action of the story.

Tense and aspect in fiction: Activity

It was after supper, and I was reading and smoking at the table. Algie was playing patience and drumming a tattoo with his fingers, and Gus was outside checking on the dogs. Suddenly he burst in. 'Chaps! Outside, quick!'

Verb images

This lesson asks students to think about tense and aspect, what they mean, and how else we can communicate those meanings.

Goals

  • Identify verb tense and aspect. 
  • Explain the meaning of verb tense and aspect. 
  • Use multimodal literacy skills to present information from words as pictures. 

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will be describing some pictures using language, and then drawing some pictures to describe language.

Verb images: Activity

The girls are rehearsing a song.

Several boys were playing football.

Sally has studied French for three years.

John has been studying French for one hour.

 

Writing a story with prepositions

Applying knowledge of prepositions to a short story

This lesson looks at how you might use your knowledge of prepositions and preposition phrases to write a short story aimed at children.

Aspect and tense

Look at the highlighted verb phrase in each example, then decide which category of tense and aspect to place it in.

Identify the adjective phrase Head

Find the Head word (the most pivotal word) of each highlighted phrase

In each example an adjective phrase is marked in square brackets. Identify the Head word of each phrase by clicking on it.

Identify the noun phrase Head

Find the Head word (the most pivotal word) of each highlighted phrase

Identify the Head in each of the following bracketed noun phrases.

Identify the type of phrase

Identify the type of phrase (noun phrase, preposition phrase, etc.) in each of the examples. Although we have included verb phrases as an option, remember that the National Curriculum calls these clauses.

 

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