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    Adjectives Lesson Plan

    Topics: Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans, Elementary (4-12), Parents, Lesson Plans

    Lesson Overview:

    This lesson plan focuses on the uses of adjectives and other descriptive terms to discuss the attributes of objects shown in the pictures with a teacher, and develops picture identification and vocabulary skills.
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    Stages Learning adjectives lesson plan picture


    Students will practice using adjectives and other descriptive terms to discuss the attributes of objects shown in the pictures with a teacher. Students will work toward using complete sentences as appropriate.

    Skills Practiced:

    • Picture identification
    • Vocabulary development
    • Use of adjectives and descriptive terms

    Materials Needed:


    • This lesson is designed for 1:1 instruction with a teacher or therapist.

    Set Up: 

    Decide which cards you would like to work on with your students. The Language Builder Nouns 2 card set can be separated by the following categories, making it easy to work on related vocabulary words in this lesson:
    Stages Learning language builder nouns 2 asparagus card
    • Body Parts
    • Insects & Bugs
    • Sea Life
    • Animals
    • Transportation
    • Foods
    • Tools
    • Musical Instruments
    • On the Farm
    • Clothing
    • Everyday Objects
    • Safety Signs

    In this example, the teacher chose to use cards from the Everyday Objects category, but you can use any card(s) #1 – 201. Sit across from or next to the student.


    1. Refresh student on previously learned information about adjectives. Remind them of what an adjective is used for (describing something) and why it can be helpful to learn descriptive words.
      • Adjectives let us differentiate between two similar objects (“I would like the BIG brownie, please!”) or describe an item if we can’t remember the name of the item itself (“They’re brown, made of chocolate, kind of like cake, you can bake them in the oven, usually they’re cut into squares…”)

    2. Model what you’d like your student to do by choosing a card (for example, blueberries, #122) and placing it on the table facing your student. Then describe the food shown. You may choose to model a few cards in this manner until you feel that your student understands what will be expected of them.

    3. Then tell the student it is their turn.

    4.  Choose a card (for example, the pumpkin, #115) and place it on the table facing your student. Ask your student to describe what they see.
      • Try the phrase, “Describe this item” or “Tell me about this”.
      • If your student names the item itself, “Pumpkin”, reinforce the correct label and encourage them to tell you more about the pumpkin. For example, “That’s right, this is a pumpkin. Can you tell me more about what the pumpkin looks like?”
      • Depending on your student’s vocabulary, encourage them to use complete sentences to describe the item.
        • “The pumpkin is orange and round” rather than, “Orange. Round.”
        • A sentence model may help them with these language demands (an example is provided at the end of this lesson).
          Stages Learning language builder nouns 2 round pumpkin card
    5. Students may benefit from cues throughout the lesson as to what an adjective is or what kinds of descriptive words to use. Feel free to remind them to talk about color, shape, texture, and size, to name a few. You may also have an adjective “cheat sheet” that they can refer to throughout the lesson to help them. (An example of a cheat sheet is included at the end of this lesson.)

    6. Repeat for the remainder of the cards.

    7. Shuffle and repeat.

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    Jenna Wharff, Ed.M.

    Written by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M.

    Jenna Wharff is a special education teacher at HOPEhouse at Cotting School, a transitional boarding school for students age 17-22 with special needs, in Lexington, MA. She specializes in helping her students prepare for life after high school by teaching independent living, vocational, and social skills as well as practical academics and providing opportunities for her students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to their everyday lives. She aims to help students and their families make the transition from special education to adult services as smooth as possible, while providing her students with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead productive and meaningful lives after leaving HOPEhouse. Jenna received her Master's degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2007.