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 student writing. Older students are expected to understand words and how they change and work in sentences.  (Do we need a noun or adverb for 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 like adverbs. 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 adverbs, I have talking points and grammar lessons below.

Overall, most high school students are familiar with adverbs. After a pretest, I look at the data and decide where instruction should go. Dependent upon my students’ needs, I’ll proceed one of several ways with my adverb lesson plans.

Review adverbs with a variety of grammar activities. An adverb worksheet might clarify modifiers for older students.


Scaffold back to verbs

Students might need a complete review of adverbs. Before we start adverb activities, start with a quick review of verbs. We practice verbs. We might add adverbs to verbs, or find them if they are in the verb practice. But honestly if students do not understand adverbs, day one of adverb activities is a review of verbs.

By the time I begin adverb activities, we have done almost all the parts of speech; students have done nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. So if I need to go over some of the material, if I need to do a quick presentation over adverbs, I will. I just emphasize to students 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 adverbs with 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 learning opportunities for adverbs. Adverb activities can include hands on grammar or an adverb worksheet.

Provide multiple practice opportunities

I might review adverbs with quick adverb worksheets, and then I’ll find that we are done with identification of adverbs. Like I mentioned, every class is different! With older students, an adverb worksheet might be a simple fix. Students have worked with adverbs before and only need a quick refresher before moving to more complex ideas like adverb clauses. A worksheet can provide quick review, and you can move to manipulatives with adverb clauses.

If students struggle to understand adverbs, we will complete scaffolded grammar stations. Stations enable me to rotate and move around the room. From listening and interacting students, I can gauge where my adverb lesson plan should go next. 

From whatever adverb 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.

Adverb lesson plan: add grammar stations and an adverb worksheet.

Apply to writing

I know when I write, my editor tells me that I use too many adverbs, and she takes them out. You might have students who use too many adverbs like I do. Whatever adverb lesson plan you create, tie the concept to writing.

So using student writing, providing that background, and using the words, and showing students the way the words work: all of those application to writing benefit your adverb lesson plan. 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 adverb 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 or an exit ticket! 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 tool 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.


Adverb worksheets and other grammar activities get student thinking about language. Adverb lesson plans can connect to students' lives.

Connect to vocabulary

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. What I enjoy most about student-led adverb activities is that each students can show understanding in a unique way.

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.

Adverb clauses are part of the language common core standards. Adverb clauses might require more than an adverb worksheet.


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 the adverbs section with a worksheet, a grammar station rotation, or a word wall. Lots of sticky notes, lots of writing, and lots of interaction with student-made materials.

Adverbs lesson plan: engage middle school language arts classes. An adverb lesson plan should connect grammar to writing & empower middle school students. Grammar activities: grammar sorts, grammar stations, grammar one pagers. A lesson plan on adverbs includes various practice opportunities for sixth grade language arts: middle school English grammar includes adverb activities. A lesson plan for adverbs will be more than an adverb lesson; it will connect grammar to the rest of students lives. Use an adverb worksheet to provide a starting point for grammar lessons.

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.

You might like to check out other lessons for parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, and adjectives.

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Adverb lesson plan: provide more than the adverb worksheet
Adverbs can be part of fun lessons.

If you need more ideas for using  adverb worksheets and an engaging adverb lesson plan, check out Grammar Gurus. My private Facebook group provides an open space for teachers to discuss grammar.