The appositive, a noun or noun phrase that renames another noun, is a great way to give more information about a person, place or thing. It’s also helpful for adding sentence variety to a literary work. Grammar lessons can be dry. However, here are a few fun ways to teach appositives.
10 Different Names for Me
We all have a lot of characteristics that define us. For this activity, have students draw a picture of themselves. Around the pictures, have students write 10 different nouns or noun phrases that describe or rename them. For instance, William might be a sixth grader, soccer player, sibling, dog owner, artist, best friend, avid rock collector, aspiring writer, student at West Elm Middle School, etc. These are all nouns and noun phrases that rename William and give the reader more information about him. After completing his poster, William can write a sentence or two using one of his “renaming nouns.” It’s important for students to know that the appositive must be next to the noun and that it is often set off with commons (that is if it contains information that is not essential to the sentence). For example: William, a student at West Elm Middle School, is on the soccer team. Appositives can be at the beginning or the end of a sentence too. For instance: An aspiring writer, William is often in deep thought or The nature center is a favorite destination for William, an avid rock collector.
Your students probably know how to write an acrostic poem. For an appositive acrostic, have kids write the word appositive vertically down the side of the paper. Then, they will come up with sentences that have appositives in them. Encourage them to pick a theme for their poem. For instance, here is a Healthy Foods Appositive Acrostic Poem:
Apples, a crunchy red fruit, are growing in our backyard. Pears, a soft delicate fruit, are a healthy dessert. Pistachios, a flavorful nut, have a hard shell. Oranges, a citrus delight, make a delicious glass of juice. Strawberries, a red berry, are full of antioxidants. Iceberg lettuce, a salad’s best friend, is cool and refreshing. Turnips, a root vegetable, taste delicious when roasted. Italian squash, a summer veggie, can be grilled on the barbecue. Vidalas, a sweet onion, add flavor to soup. Eggplant, a nightshade vegetable, is a beautiful shade of aubergine.
Fill in the Appositive
An appositive gives the reader more information about a noun. For this activity, write sentences with appositives on sentence strips. Then, cut out the appositives. You should have at least one sentence for each student to complete. Using magnets, put the sentences on the board with the appositives missing. Students will have the opportunity to put in the missing appositive with a magnet. You could also use a pocket chart to complete this activity.
These creative ways to teach appositives are more engaging than doing worksheets.
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