Mini Lesson: Subject-Verb Agreement
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade Level: 6th-8th
Objective: Students explore subject–verb agreement using real-life examples and then talk about the difference between formal and informal language and how to use this important grammatical rule.
Common Core Standards:
•CCSS.ELA-Literacy W.6.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
•CCSS ELA-Literacy W.6.5: With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Time: 15 Minutes
Materials: Internet Access to watch video clips
Student Handouts Mini Lesson (Attached)
Rationale: After reviewing subject-verb agreement, middle school students will explore newspaper and song lyrics to identify both correct and incorrect subject-verb agreement. The emphasis on the lesson is on asking students to discover how this important grammatical rule is used (or deliberately ignored) in a variety of settings.
Assessment: Students comprehension of Subject-Verb agreement will be conduct during class/small group collaborative discussion and written work to be handed in.
Students will watch the following clip: http://www.schooltube.com/video/b7de4895bc086b3b83f7/
Explore: After the brief review is given regarding subject/verb agreement, students will he given a worksheet with song lyrics to discuss in small working groups.
I will play the song for the class to hear the music as it sounds:
Upon completion, volunteers will be asked to share their corrections with classmates.
Hand out the “Making Subjects and Verbs Agree” to students for their Daybook. Class discussion will include the following questions:
• What is a subject? What is a singular subject? What is a plural subject?
• What is a verb? What is a singular verb? What is a plural verb?
• What is a pronoun?
• What does it mean to have subject-verb agreement?
• Can you think of any examples of songs, headlines, or quotes that lack subject-verb agreement?
• What sounds better – a sentence with or without subject-verb agreement?
• Does anyone know another language? If so, how does subject-verb agreement work in Spanish, Italian, etc?
• When you are grammatically correct in your writing and speech, what kind of impression do you give? Likewise, when you are grammatically incorrect, what kind of impression do you give?
Extension Assignments: Challenge students to find examples in media (music, newspaper articles, ads, etc) where subject verb agreement is not present. Students can complete the assignment found here for more practice.
Celce-Murcia, M., & Larsen-Freeman, D. (1999). The copula and subject–verb agreement. In The grammar book: An ESL/EFL teacher’s course, (2nd ed., pp. 53-78). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Paiz, Joshua M. and Chris Berry. (2013) Making Subject and Verbs Agree. http://owl.english.purdue.edu