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Adjective Activity & Word Wall: What Kind? How Many?

By Patricia Gable

Using pages from reading material appropriate to the grade level of students, find adjectives and classify them. Does the adjective describe how many? What kind? Does it make a comparison between two things? Finding fabulous adjectives will help students spice up their writing.

Proper Preparation

To have amazing adjective activities you must be properly prepared and you will have outstanding outcomes! Consider the grade level you are targeting for this activity. Choose several books from the classroom or library. Have one book for every two or three students. You may decide to go even further and mark specific selections from the books or even copy certain pages.

The time to use these activities would be mid-way through your study of adjectives.

The students should already know:

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun.

A noun names a person, place or thing.

A pronoun takes the place of a noun.

Now that they can pick out an adjective from a sentence, the students will deepen their understanding by seeing that there different kinds of adjectives.

Some adjectives tell "what kind”: Bertha Butterwinkle is a famous person. What kind of person? A famous person.

Some adjectives tell "how much/many": Bertha Butterwinkle has two dogs. How many dogs? Two dogs. Bertha Butterwinkle ate the whole pizza! How much pizza? The whole pizza.

Some adjectives make comparisons: The nicest friend that I know is Bertha Butterwinkle. What kind of friend? The nicest friend.

Some adjectives tell "which one": That boy is my brother. Which boy? That boy.


Divide your students into groups of two or three. They should have a paper, pencil and the book or selection that you want them to use. Within the group, students can decide how they will operate. Will one read and one write? Will they read the selection together? Encourage them to go over the material several times in case they miss an adjective. The adjective usually comes before the noun but not always! Example: She wore a beautiful blouse. The blouse she wore was beautiful.

Once they have gathered all the adjectives, students should put them in categories:

****What Kind***** Which One**** How Much/Many**** Comparing****

As groups finish, have them trade with another finished group to check their work.

Wonderful Word Wall

For the next part the students need to make a word wall with the adjectives. All of the students in class should compile their words by category and delete any duplicate words. You may decide to put the words on poster boards by category (What kind, Which one, How much/many, comparing) or add the words to your word wall by category.


Now that you have your adjectives displayed by categories, for the final part of the adjective activities your students will have a writing assignment. Tailor this assignment to the age of your students. They can write sentences, a paragraph or a short story. The challenge is to use every category of adjective. If the assignment is writing sentences, students must use two or three different categories of adjectives.

The tallest boy in the class is wearing a red shirt and two blue shoes.

After these adjective activities, your students will have a better understanding of descriptive words and are more likely to spice up their writing.


Cleary, Brian. Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective? Lerner Publishing Group, 2000.

Source: Author's twenty-five years of teaching in the elementary grade levels.