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Word Twirl

Singular turns plural turns singular turns plural as students illustrate irregular plurals and their singular forms on dry-erase boards with Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons. This creative word study activity even gets bodies moving!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Arrange children in pairs for this whole-class activity. Begin by providing partners with a set of word cards. Each set includes two cards, one with a singular noun and the other with its irregular plural form, such as man/men or mouse/mice. On individual dry-erase boards, students write and illustrate their words using Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons.
    2. Students might draw their words in large bubble letters so they stand out. Demonstrate this technique: First print the word, spacing the letters farther apart than you normally would when writing it in a sentence. Next outline each letter. Also outline inside each space; for example, draw a smaller circle inside an o. Erase the letter you originally wrote inside each outline to reveal bubble letters. Trace over the bubble letters, smoothing edges and making the lines nice and dark. Add colors or designs inside each letter.
    3. Illustrations should convey the meaning of the word on the word card. If the word is singular, be sure the illustration shows just one of the items. If the word is plural, the illustration should show more than one.
    4. When all students have completed their illustrations, ask students to stand back to back with their partners for a word twirl reveal for the whole class. Singular noun students will reveal their illustration and word first; then both students will rotate so the irregular plural can be revealed. Continue a slow rotation as the rest of the class reads each word as displayed.
  • Standards

    LA: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

    MATH: Extend the counting sequence.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

  • Adaptations

    Words students might illustrate and display include: man/men, woman/women, person/people, child/children, mouse/mice, elf/elves, knife/knives, calf/calves, loaf/loaves, shelf/shelves, wolf/wolves, foot/feet, goose/geese, tooth/teeth, cactus/cacti, deer/deer, fish/fish, sheep/sheep, half/halves, leaf/leaves, scarf/scarves, thief/thieves, wife/wives

    Repeat this activity with regular plurals to practice adding –s and –es.

    Practice contractions using the Word Twirl! Student illustrations might also reflect things that can and can’t be done, should and shouldn’t happen, are and aren’t true, etc.

    Adapt this activity to create a word game show. Organize children in groups of three. One child writes and illustrates a singular noun (ex. story). Child 2 writes and illustrates the correct plural of the word (ex. stories). Child 3 writes and illustrates an incorrect plural form of the word (ex. storys). Children present their three words to another team or to the whole class to determine the correct plural form.

    Share the book Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies by Brian P. Cleary as a read aloud or partner reading experience. Invite children to create their own rhyming verses about irregular plurals. Write and illustrate verses on drawing paper to compile into your own class book.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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