Adjective Lessons

Learning about comparative, superlative, and proper adjectives can involve hands-on activties.

By Kacie Archer

Adjective picture

A good way to start off an adjective lesson is to have students imagine what the world would be like without them. You can have students talk about what books would be like if we did not use adjectives? You can even try reading a paragraph while omitting the adjectives. Students will find out that without adjectives in our everyday lives, it would be pretty boring. Adjectives bring much needed detail to books, articles, short stories, and even conversations. 

An adjective is a word that modifies, or describes a noun or pronoun. An adjective gives a description of what something is like by telling us what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, etc . . . There are also different types of adjectives including superlative, and comparative adjectives.

You can begin by telling students a comparative form of an adjective is used when you compare a person or thing with another person or thing. These types of adjectives end in er if the adjective is one syllable, but there are exceptions. There are two-syllable words that end in er.  However, most other words with more than one syllable use the word “more” to signal the comparison. By going through several examples with students, you can set them on the right track.  

Next you can tell students that a superlative form of an adjective is used when you compare something or someone with more than one thing. A superlative adjective ends with est if the adjective has one syllable, and some two syllable words. However, all other words with more than one syllable use the word “most” to signal the comparison. For practice, you can assign students four words (such as, tall, shiny, cheerful, and energetic) and have students write a sentence using each word as a comparative adjective, and as a superlative adjective.

Last, but certainly not least, teachers can also go over the use of proper adjectives. A proper adjective is formed using a proper noun, and it is always capitalized. Some examples of proper adjectives include Asian, Spanish, Northeastern, and Victorian. One class activity that can be interesting for students involves having students pretend they are famous for creating something. They come up with a name for the creation using their names to create a proper adjective such as Jacksonian paper.  Then you can have students write a story describing their creation and explaining why they named it what they did. What follows are some additional adjective lessons.  

Adjective Lessons:

Appetizing Adjectives

I really like this lesson plan because it allows students to look at a menu and make it more appetizing by adding adjectives it. They are also able to use their art skills to illustrate their menus.

What is an Adjective?

This is a great lesson plan because it allows students to look at scenic pictures, and create their own adjectives to describe the pictures. They use different adjectives on each scenic picture. Then, they are given an opportunity to write a fictitious story about one of the pictures, using different adjectives.


This is a great lesson plan for learning about adjectives. This lesson has students look at sentences containing adjectives. Then, they are to look at a story that has blanks before nouns so that they can insert their own adjectives into the story.    

Understanding Adjectives

This lesson is great introduction to adjectives. Students are taught how to use adjectives correctly. Students are shown various objects, and they are required to describe the objects in only one word. This is something that all students can participate in, and extend their knowledge of descriptive writing.

We’re in a Pickle

This is a lesson that all students would really enjoy. Students are given a pickle to look at and examine very carefully. Then students write a descriptive paragraph about the pickle.  This lesson plan also has a math connection allowing students to make bar graphs showing the results of the students’ choices of pickles.

Awesome Adjectives Postcards

I really like this lesson plan because it allows the students to use their creativity to design a postcard. Students choose a place they would like to visit and illustrate a postcard. They are asked to use ten adjectives to describe the pictures on the postcards. Then, they write a descriptive message using and underlining the ten adjectives.



Middle School Writing Guide

Kacie Archer