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Old 03-01-2012, 11:08 AM
kamisc kamisc is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 66
New Jersey
1st Grade Teacher
Teaching plural nouns to first graders

I am going to try to teach my students plural nouns next week because I am noticing a lot of z's ending their sentences. Since they are first grade I think teaching "s" and "es" is sufficient but would like some input. We do not have a grammar curriculum so its very open.

Any ideas for teaching these plurals? I believe they will get "S" quickly but may need help with "es". Also any fun hands-on ways to teach this? Thank you!
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:50 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
We used pictures and then had the students write about their pictures. On the first picture was the word, on the second picture of the item was the "s" or "es".

You could have students listen and decide if it is an "s" or "es" sound, they usually sound different. Then students could throw a ball into the hoop or bucket for the correct spelling or any other physical activity.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:51 PM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 26,848
The short version is that the spelling of the regular plural always involves a letter <s> rather than a letter <z>, but that how it's pronounced and whether there's also an <e> in the spelling depends on how the final sound of the base word is pronounced.

- We write <s> and say /s/ if the final sound of the word is voiceless: hops, bites, rakes, reefs.

- We write <s> but say /z/ if the final sound of the word is voiced, and this includes all vowels: babes, duds, rags (and fugues), knives, hums, runes, kings, fires, sales, agrees, grows.

- We write <es> and say /@z/ (I think I can't get a schwa to display, so I'm using @ instead) if the final sound of the word is pronounced a lot like the sound /s/: bosses, fizzes, rashes, rouges, itches, judges - though, as the last word shows, if the word as SPELLED already ends in letter <e> we don't supply the <e>: horses, not "horsees".

(To get technical about it, the sounds /s/ and /z/ are alveolar fricatives. The final sounds that make us pronounce the plural as /Iz/ have to be either fricative or affricate - that is, the sound either is or includes a hissing or hushing component - AND either alveolar (pronounced in the mouth where /s/ is) or palatal (pronounced in the mouth where <sh> and <tch> are. And, for the record, there's a similar but not quite identical rule for the pronunciation of past tense <ed>.)

The students don't necessarily need the technical terms, but the teacher who knows what drives the alternation in pronunciation will probably find it easier to choose words with which to teach students how the plural works.
Education isn't what you know. It's what you can do (and fake, intelligently) with what you know.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:28 PM
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Lynnnn725 Lynnnn725 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,797
Primary Elementary Teacher
make a list of the singular and plural form of words. Ask children what they notice. Ask if they can hear the -es when they say the word. "bus; buses" you can hear the -es. Add another word in the singular form and ask them to tell you the plural. Ask if they hear the -es sound. If so, then add es.

Then go back over the list. Say bus. how many syllables? (1). Say buses. How many syllables? (2). When you add -es, you also add a syllable.

I just reiterate those two points when reviewing my chart (you can hear the -es, and it also adds a syllable) and that is a way to check whether or not you add es or just an s.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:13 PM
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cheer cheer is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 408
I teach es as a cheer
Sh, ch, s, x, z you add es yes, yes ,yes. Go...es!
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graders, nouns, plural, teaching

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