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Language Unit: NP1 + VBE + Adjective

This unit was written for elementary children, however, if you have older students who need to develop this structure, you can use a similar format with age-appropriate materials and activities.

As you develop the concept of this sentence structure, use vocabulary and language structures the children already know. The ‘to be’ verb does not hold meaning; it serves to link the adjective to the verb. With repeated experience, most children will begin to understand its function.

Teacher demonstration/modeling

Review concepts of the nouns and adjectives you will use in the development of the sentence structure.

Tell children what they will learn and why.

  • Show children a picture of a black cat. Ask: What is this? Elicit the response, cat. Write cat on the board.
    • Ask: What color is the cat? Elicit the response, black. Write black on the board.
    • Tell the children that when they answer the question, they can say/sign a black cat.
    • Then tell the children that there is an English sentence that could use. Say/sign the sentence: The cat is black. Write the sentence on the board.
    • Explain that the verb is connects black to cat. Have the children say/sign the sentence with you.
  • Show them a picture of a brown horse.
    • Ask: What is this? Elicit the response, a brown horse, and write the phrase on the board.
    • Say/sign: Now I will write the English sentence that tells about the picture. Write The horse is brown under the first sentence.
    • Explain that the verb is connects brown to cat. Have the children say/sign the sentence with you.

Tell the children what they will learn and why

Guided practice

If your student(s) have some usable hearing, in all guided practice activities, encourage them to notice how the words/sentences look when lipreading and how they sound. If appropriate, present lipreading and auditory discrimination activities using the words and sentences from the unit.

  • Show a picture of a yellow bird. Ask: What is this? Elicit the response a yellow bird.
    • Ask: David, can you tell us an English sentence about this picture? Guide the child as much as is necessary to respond: The bird is yellow. Write the sentence on the board under the other sentences.
    • Explain that the verb is connects yellow to bird. Have the children say/sign the sentence with you.
  • Repeat the activity until all children have had a turn. (The students who are slower to understand should be the last ones called on so they will have the advantage of repeated exposure to the sentence structure.)
  • Leave all of the sentences on the board.

Independent Practice

  • Give each child 3-4 pictures. Children color each picture.
    • Children write an English sentence, using the targeted structure, under each picture. (They can refer to sentences on the board.)
    • Children show their pictures and read the sentences to their classmates.
    • Collect the children’s work.

Teacher Demonstration/Modeling

Review the adjective big and little.

Review the nouns that will appear in this step.

  • Show two pictures or objects, one of a big dog and the other of a little dog.
    • Discuss the pictures/objects using the adjectives big and little in your discussion.
    • Tell the children that you will write an English sentence about the first picture.
    • Write on the board: The dog is big.
    • Children say/sign the sentence with you.
  • Show them the second picture and write the sentence on the board: The dog is little.
    • Children say/sign the picture with you.
  • Follow the same steps using two different pictures, for example, a big car and a little car.

Guided practice

If appropriate, include lipreading and auditory discrimination activities in the activities during guided practice.

  • Show two pictures or objects, for example, a big house and a little house. Discuss the pictures with the children.
    • Children say/sign a sentence about the first picture/object. Give them enough support to construct the sentence successfully.
    • Ask a child to write the sentence on the board giving her/him the necessary support to write The house is big.
  • Follow the same steps asking another child to say/sign and then write a sentence about the second picture/object (The house is little).
  • Use two more sets of pictures or objects (a big tree/a little tree and a big chair/a little chair).
  • Repeat the same activities and procedures.
  • Independent Practice
  • Show the children two pictures or objects (a big book/a little book).
  • Show the children the first object.
    • Children write a sentence on paper. They may refer to the sentences on the board, if necessary.
    • When finished, children check their sentences with the model sentences on the board and make any necessary corrections.
  • Repeat for the second picture/object.
  • Repeat with two more pairs of pictures/objects.
  • Give each child three sets of pictures/objects depicting big and little.
  • Children write sentences under each picture/object.
  • Collect their papers.
  • Continue with independent practice using similar steps.
  • Present 3 more pairs of adjectives (sad/glad, hot/cold, short/tall).
  • Follow similar procedures and activities.
  • Collect their papers.

Independent Application

  • Include the new structure in language experience stories.
  • Children use their pictures and papers and make books of their work.
    • Children read their books to their reading partners or other people in the school.
    • Encourage children to take their books home and read them to their families.
  • Reinforce and emphasize the new structure in all activities throughout the school days.