Topic: KS2

Sub-topics

Relevant for UK National Curriculum Key Stage 2.

Adjectives and meaning

What are other ways of expressing the meanings conveyed by adjectives? In this starter activity, students are asked to replace the adjectives in the given examples with some other means of expressing the general meaning of the sentence.

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right of this page. It can be displayed on a projector or smart board. The slide in the Activity page presents four example sentences with adjectives. Ask the students to do the following:

Adjectives and meaning: Activity

  1. Kyle was sad.
  2. Derrick was so much smaller than Stanley.
  3. He wasn’t entirely sure.
  4. When she saw what was inside the envelope, Lucy was delighted.

Adverbs in use

Task

Three short extracts are given in Slide 1 in the Activity page in the right hand menu. Take each extract in turn and follow these steps:

Adverbs in use: Activity

  1. Anna walked slowly through the streets, looking vacantly around her. People went past busily with their shopping bags. She kept thinking miserably about Mark’s words to her.
  2. Entering the cave cautiously, Jack saw the dragon sitting fiercely beside its treasure. Steam came loudly from its nostrils, animal bones lay thickly on the floor and the whole cave smelled strongly of scorched flesh. Jack looked at the scene fearfully.
  3. The child cried loudly, holding his teddy-bear tightly. His mother spoke to him impatiently.

Clause types

The four clause types are a central part of English grammar. An understanding of declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamative clause types can help students recognise how writers use these structures to create meaning in different ways, and can help them develop a better repertoire of structures in their own writing.

Clause types: Activity

You’re visiting a friend’s house. You’re in a cold room and the window is open. What can you say to each of the following to get the window shut?

  1. your friend
  2. your friend’s grandmother
  3. your friend’s annoying little brother

You’re carrying several boxes of CDs and books. Then you drop one, spilling its contents all over the floor. You need help and there are people around who could be of assistance. What do you say to each of the following?

Compound word creation

In this activity, students work with an interactive smart board display to build compound words.

The Activity pages for this starter can be found in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. Each Activity page contains slides that can be displayed using a projector or smart board. 

Compound word creation: Activity 2

For each word, see how many compounds you can think of which include the word.

Noun phrase competition

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.

Nouning verbs

This is a simple starter activity that will help your students see how some words can function as both nouns and verbs. The activity is designed to be carried out in pairs around the class. One student be the noun and the other will be the verb. Each will need the same word list (which you can download and print below) or you can just use the word list on the screen.

Pitching a product

In this resource, students will be studying two extracts of very different sales pitches from the BBC show The Apprentice. Contestants on The Apprentice had to design an app for a smartphone and then pitch it to an audience at a technology fair. The pitches are printed in the handout that can be downloaded and printed at the bottom of this page.

To help students analyse the extracts, ask them the following questions, which are also included in the handout:

Can you see any features of spontaneous talk being used in either extract?

Politeness and directness

This task is about using verbs and modal verbs in different ways. We all know that people can be direct or indirect in the ways they phrase things. We often use imperative forms to give instructions, but sometimes these might be seen as too direct and blunt. We sometimes soften them with modal verbs, among other tools.

Politeness and directness: Activity

Try to make the following expressions less direct. Compose alternative sentences for each one.

  1. Shut the window.
  2. Tell me your name.
  3. Stop talking.

What changes did you make to render the expressions less direct? 

Now, make the following expressions more direct. Compose an alternative sentence for each example.

Prepositions in instructional writing

Prepositions are particularly important when trying to communicate instructions about time and place.

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. The Activity page contains one slide: an example of instructional writing from our corpus. You can see that quite precise instructions are given as part of a recipe. It is reprinted below with the prepositions highlighted.

Method

Prepositions in instructional writing: Activity

Method

Cut the meat into even-sized cubes, leaving any fat, but removing all gristle.

Process for 10 seconds, scrape the sides. Make sure the meat is thoroughly evenly cut, then turn the meat into a separate bowl.

Add the onion and egg yolk to the bowl and process until the food is pureed, add salt and pepper to the meat.

Word frequency in speech and writing

Comparing word frequencies is an interesting way to think about some of the differences between speech and writing. Which are the most frequent words in speech, and how do they compare with the most frequent words in writing?

Word frequency in speech and writing: Activity

Spoken English

the

I

you

and

it

a

’s*

to

of

that

Written English

the

of

Word order

We have to have some sort of structure to organise words if we are to communicate. That structure is a big part of grammar. Linguists use a term – syntax – to describe word order.

Word order: Activity

The dog chased the girl.
The girl chased the dog.
The bus has left.
Has the bus left?
The woman with the walking-stick knocked on the door.
The woman knocked on the door with the walking-stick.
Only Lisa ate icecream.
Lisa ate only icec

Adjective identification

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying adjectives.

Adjective identification: Activity 1

Which words do you think are adjectives?

Adjective identification: Activity 2

Somehow, it didn't seem wise.

Is wise an adjective?

Adverb identification

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying adverbs.

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