10 Rules of Plurals: Team Spelling Test
Today's Snack: "Plural"
means more than one. What's an after-school snack that just one is not enough,
and you need plurals? How about sunflower seeds? You need a lot of those to
feel satisfied. Give each student a quantity of sunflower seeds, and a small
zip-lock bag or other container in which to spit the seeds. Drink a glass of
fruit juice, and you only need one glass - no plurals.
Print out this Treat |
scissors | chalkboard or whiteboard
Scratch paper and
pencils for a 10-word spelling test
Prizes for the winning
1. Cut these rules apart into strips.
2. Give strips to pairs of students, or teams of
3. Let them memorize them and have a turn at the board,
teaching that rule to the other students.
4. Each team should think of a new spelling word, or
example sentence in which students tell which verb form (singular or plural), that
fits under that rule for a spelling test, or choose one of the examples.
5. When each team has presented its rule and given the
leader a new spelling word, the leader should pass out scratch paper to each
team and give the spelling test. They can take it as a team, deciding among
themselves what the correct spelling is for each of the 10 words.
6. Give a prize to the team whose members did the best
on the test.
SPELLING RULES FOR PLURALS
For some words that end in -o, add an 'es to make it
potatoes, tomatoes, heroes, echoes
For other words that end in -o, you add only an -s. You
just have to memorize which ones:
autos, altos, twos, zoos, pianos, solos
Words that end in a consonant followed by -y
are made into plurals by changing the -y to an -i and adding -es:
Words that end in a vowel followed by -y are
made into plurals simply by adding an -s:
Words that end in an -f are pluralized by changing
the -v to a -v and adding -es:
leaf/leaves, wolf/wolves, knife/knives,
There are exceptions to the rule about
pluralizing words that end in -f. They include:
chefs, cliffs, roofs, chiefs, oafs,
Some words are "collective nouns." There are two
types: singular and plural. A singular collective noun may look and sound as if
it is a plural noun because it groups together lots of people, animals or
objects. But it is singular and takes the singular form of the verb as one
So you would write "the crowd is
shouting" and "the team won its game."
The other type of "collective noun" also stands for a
group of people or objects, and can be singular or plural. It depends on how
the collective noun is used. If you are zeroing in on individuals within that
group, then you probably would treat it as a plural.
"The children are coming," "the geese
are honking," "the congregation opened their hymnals"
A few words that end in an -s would seem to be
plurals. But they're not. They're treated as singular in form and are spelled
the same however they are used:
"politics is a difficult business,"
"the news is not good"
Some words that come to us from languages other than
English have plural forms that are spelled differently. You just have to