8 Adjective Activities for Elementary Students

This blog post is all about teaching adjectives in your elementary classroom. Adjectives are important in reading, writing, and language. They are going to be present across all content areas and are important for students to understand. In addition to understanding their function, students will also need to form and use different types of adjectives, modify adjectives, and correctly order adjectives. I have always found that with adjective activities, it is best to keep it simple. Students will need repeated exposure and practice, but the activity, itself does not need to be complicated. In this post, I will talk about 8 adjective activities that are going to help your students master this descriptive skill!

Common Core Standards for adjectives will build at each grade level. The specific skills needed for each grade level are listed below.

  • 1st Grade: L.1.1f- Use frequently occurring adjectives.
  • 2nd Grade: L.2.1.e- Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
  • 3rd Grade: L.3.1.g- Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
  • 4th Grade: L.4.1.d- Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).

Introduce Adjectives with a Video

Brainpop video for teaching adjectives

First, engage students with a video. BrainPop is always a great place to start when introducing a language skill. Not only is there a simple and engaging video describing the skill, but there are also interactive elements that follow. After showing your students the video, the quiz, graphic organizers, worksheets, games, and challenges can be added to your independent, partner, and small group activities.

Here are links to the BrainPop videos!

Anchor Chart Ideas

Printable adjectives anchor chart

Additionally, a descriptive anchor chart, like this printable/projectable one, can be displayed as a reinforcement for students as they are learning about adjectives. In younger grades, it is beneficial to remind students about the types of descriptions and where adjectives can be found.

This anchor chart can be made interactive by simply using it as call and answer prompts. Have students think of a noun. Ask each of the questions to the group and have them call back adjectives to describe their noun.

Adjectives interactive anchor chart

Create your own anchor chart for continuous adjective practice. Using a simple header and large white space can allow you and your students to add adjectives throughout the learning process. Keep markers or sticky notes nearby and anytime your students use adjectives, they can add them to the chart! In the anchor chart above, a 4th-grade class is able to rearrange the adjectives to put them in the correct order!

Use Mentor Texts to Show Adjectives in Action

adjective mentor texts

An important addition to adjective activities will be mentor texts. Students will need repeated exposure to adjectives in action so that they can develop experience with the language. There are many adjective-focused mentor texts out there, but many of the picture books you already have will be perfect for this!

Each of the book links below are affiliate Amazon links!

Try a Simple Fold and Go Paper Adjective Activities

paper folding activity for adjectives

These simple paper-folding organizers can be great adjective activities. They can be used in several different ways and all you need is a sheet of paper! The activity above is called a “Shutterfold.” Students will fold their paper inward like a book and snip the font flaps in half. Have students describe nouns on the inner flap using multiple adjectives. Or, you can have students track adjectives from their reading!

paper folding activity for teaching adjectives

Another paper-folding activity is this “Fold and Snip!” Students will simply fold their paper in half and snip to create as many tabs as they need. For younger students, they may want to write adjectives that fall under the 5 senses. For older students, they may want to use the 9 adjective categories so that they can work on adjective order!

Show Pictures and Have Students Brainstorm Lists

google image activity for adjectives

Google images can be used to practice adjectives, as well! For example, search for an image that can be described using adjectives. Print or display the image and have students create a list of adjectives to describe the photo. Add this activity to partner or small group centers, independent work, or even homework!

Go on a Book Hunt

using mentor texts to teach adjectives, book hunt

One of my favorite adjective activities is a Book Hunt. Students can grab books from the shelves and find as many adjectives as they can! Moreover, this activity can be modified for any type of learner and can be repeated over and over! As you can see in the activity above, students could either create a continuous list of all adjectives used or track adjective phrases on sticky notes.

Assign a Digital Activity for Them

digital adjectives game on ipad for students

Using digital activities will allow you to measure students’ understanding. These adjective activities will be found in Google Slides, which means that you can quickly and easily check and address misunderstandings. I love that these Google Slides activities allow you to simply reset answers that students may have gotten wrong so that they can try again. I also love that they eliminate paper copying and grading! First, download the unit. Then, you can assign them to your students! They come ready-made for you.

Participate in a Partner Activity

partner activity for adjectives

Finally, partner adjective activities will be a great addition to your independent work time or centers. Students can work together on a printable activity, like the one above, and build on each others’ understanding. Even after instruction, be sure to mix-in adjective activities for students to work together on. Don’t forget to continue to add these activities back into student practice throughout the year!

Suggested Resources for Adjective Activities

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