What is an adjective?
What is an adjective? An adjective is a word that describes a noun (the name of a person, place or object).
- They live in a beautiful village.
In this sentence, the word beautiful is the adjective. It provides more information about what the village (the noun) is like.
Adjectives can come before or after a noun in a sentence. For example:
- The story she read to the class was amazing.
- She read an amazing story to the class.
More than one adjective can be used in a sentence. When we want to use multiple adjectives, we sometimes need to separate them by using commas. For example:
- The treacherous, slippery roads were caused by the snow.
Often when writing a story, children forget to spend time describing their characters or the setting of their story. Children are encouraged to explore using different adjectives in their story writing to make them more exciting to read.
How are children taught about adjectives?
It is important that using adjectives becomes a habit early on in a child’s education so that they begin to include them without being prompted.
In Key Stage 1 children are likely to use basic words such as ‘happy’, or ‘sad’. Teachers will then help children learn more interesting adjectives in Key Stage 2, such as ‘delighted’ or ‘miserable’, by encouraging them to look up synonyms in a thesaurus.
Teachers should also have posters up in the classroom which list different adjectives so that children can see them when they are writing.
Using more interesting adjectives should be part of learning to use a wide vocabulary
As they continue to practice their story writing, children will gradually learn that they should use a variety of adjectives to bring their characters and the plot to life.
It will take time for children to build up a wide vocabulary.
Using a word bank of adjectives that they can add to is often helpful, as it is through regular practice that using adjectives and powerful verbs will become part of their normal writing habits.
How to help children use more adjectives?
One way of getting children to practice using a wider vocabulary is to ask them to improve a simple sentence by adding the most exciting adjectives and adverbs that they can think of. For example, the simple sentence:
- ‘The dog played in the park with a ball’, could become
- ‘The massive, white dog played energetically in the busy park with a yellow ball’.
How does Learning Street help children to develop their use of adjectives?
Through our vocabulary and writing development activities we help children to use a wider range of adjectives.
We start at an easy, early stage and then gradually enhance knowledge as we go.
Towards the end of Key Stage Two, the focus will be on helping children to use more accurate vocabulary to bring their descriptions in their written work to life.
Adjectives have a very important role to play in helping children to develop their written work.
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