Adverb Lesson Plans: More than Adverb Worksheets
Adverb lesson plans can move beyond adverb worksheets with a few well-placed activities.
Adverbs can be tricky to identify, and they can be tricky in writing. Older students are expected to understand words and how they change and work in sentences. (Do we need a noun in this sentence? How can I change this adjective to an adverb?) When working with vocabulary lessons, adverbs often crop up on lists.
Plus, language standards for older students require a strong foundation of basic concepts. You probably won’t be introducing adverbs to older students, but you might review them when you study adverb clauses. Typical adverb activities are geared toward younger students.
If your secondary students need to review this modifier, I have talking points and grammar lessons below—including adverb worksheets and more.
How do I teach grammar to older students?
Overall, most middle school and high school students are familiar with these concepts, so I don’t pretend they have never heard the terms. Sure, I might use grammar worksheets, but I use other terms to build an understanding of adverbs.
After a pretest, I look at the data and decide where instruction should go. Dependent upon their needs, I’ll proceed one of several ways with my adverb lesson plans.
Scaffold back to verbs
Students might need a complete review of adverbs, so we start with a quick review of verbs in English. Day one is normally a review of verbs.
By the time I begin adverb activities, we have done almost all the parts of speech. So if I need to go over some of the material, if I need to do a quick presentation of a few adverb worksheets, I will. I just emphasize to classes that we’re never going to stop using these terms. If we work with an adverb worksheet, we’ll review other grammar elements in the practice sentences. Any adverb lesson plan includes discussions about vocabulary and writing. I never stop using domain-specific vocabulary (like the eight parts of speech) in lessons.
The expectation is that they’re going to not only know the definition and be able to identify an adverb, but they are also going to be able to apply that knowledge. I definitely emphasize that and use the proper terminology when working with student writing, vocabulary practice, and sentence structure.
Provide multiple practice opportunities, including an adverb worksheet
After a review with quick adverb worksheets, we might be done with identification of adverbs! With older students, an adverb worksheet might be a simple fix. Classes maybe only needed a quick refresher before moving to more complex ideas like adverb clauses. A printable worksheet can provide multiple practice opportunities, and you can move to manipulatives with adverb clauses.
If students struggle to understand adverbs, we will complete scaffolded stations. Stations enable me to rotate and move around the room. From listening and interacting students, teachers can gauge where the adverb lesson plan should go next.
From whatever review we complete, I observe what students understand and where they struggle. Then we focus on that area (perhaps students can’t remember negatives as adverbs), and then we move to application and analysis.
Note: Students might remember adverbs of manner, adverbs of frequency, and on. I search for what they remember from earlier adverb lessons. Again, a quick adverb worksheet might build off prior knowledge.
Apply adverb lessons to writing—maybe with adjectives
I know when I write, my editor tells me that I use too many adverbs, and she takes them out. You might have students with similar struggles. Whatever adverb lesson plan you create, tie the concept to writing.
At that point, I sometimes have students misusing adjectives and adverbs. I maybe have noticed a few extra ly’s, students not using their commas properly, or even misplaced and dangling modifiers. I hone in on that, and that’s normally day three or day four of adverbs.
I will start to highlight those areas of troubles in modifiers so that we can apply that knowledge to writing.
When I say writing, I don’t necessarily mean some great big, huge, long paper. Sometimes I just have students write sentences to close the day. I’ll say, “write a sentence with an action verb and include at least one adverb.” Other ideas for directing students include:
- Write a sentence with a negative and include a coordinate adjective.
- Write a sentence with an adverb that answers the question when. (Interchange any of the questions that adverbs answer.)
- Write a sentence with an adverb that modifies another adverb.
- Write two sentences, underline the adjectives, circle the adverb.
This can just be a quick writing activity from adverb worksheet!s I don’t always have a fancy exit ticket; sometimes it can just be a notecard. Hang the note cards up as part of a word wall. If you are looking to elevate your students’ understanding of grammar in context, ask them to evaluate the use of adverbs. You can download (for free) my ela worksheets for higher order thinking with grammar.
With a few well-placed questions, you can elevate students’ thinking of grammar concepts. Move them from “identification” to “evaluation.” Adverb lesson plans should be more than basic knowledge. Another fun adverb activity is to break down popular authors’ use of adverbs. Encourage students to research their favorite author’s adverb use.
Connect to vocabulary with adverb lesson plans
Of course you can connect adverbs to writing, but you can also connect them to vocabulary. Older students might have tough SAT vocabulary words. You might have vocabulary words from stories too. Plus, if you are crunched for time, combine vocabulary into your adverb lesson plan to meet more standards.
Other times, you can encourage students to choose their vocabulary words from a story with a one-pager. Then, turn those adverbs into a word wall or student created bulletin board. Review with students their creations. You can also ask students to use those words in writing, to add pictures to the adverbs, or to evaluate their use in context.
I dislike creating bulletin boards and whenever I can, I ask students to make them. The adverb one-pager also contains material to make a word wall or bulletin board. Students interact with the adverb by defining it, evaluating it, or writing about it, the perfect addition to an adverb lesson plan.
Introduce adverb clauses
However! Some years, students completely take off with adverbs, and the practice is only a review. If older students are ready, our adverb activities turn to a focus on adverb clauses.
When students understand adverbs and subjects and verbs, I typically introduce adverb clauses to them. I probably won’t spend extensive time finding adverb clauses, but I will write them with students. Doing so nicely builds a bigger picture of adverbs, and students will be aware of them when we study sentence structure. Plus, teaching adverb clauses allows for a review of comma use.
We typically close with adverb worksheets, a grammar station rotation, or a word wall. Lots of sticky notes, lots of writing, and lots of interaction with student-made materials.
My adverb lesson plans look different every year because students’ needs always differ. After I gather data, I move in the direction of meeting standards with adverb activities appropriate for their grade level.
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Adverb worksheets are tools used in adverb lesson plans to help students practice identifying and using adverbs. It typically consists of exercises or activities that require students to identify adverbs in sentences, fill in the blanks with adverbs, or rewrite sentences with adverbs.