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Maddie MacMath

INTR 612: Grammar

Fall 2017

Comparatives/Superlatives Lesson Plan

Context An intermediate ESL class for adult refugees and immigrants. The lesson is
designed for a two-hour-long class, with several activities that could be adjusted for
time, level, and learning-styles. This lesson would likely work best in a student-
centered, community-based program in that focuses on life-skills. It would work as part
of a lesson series on adjectives, or as a grammar-skill addendum to another content-
based topic.

Objectives By the end of this lesson, students will be able to . . .

Turn adjectives into comparatives using er and more
Turn adjectives into superlatives using est and most
Understand the difference between comparatives and superlatives
Use comparatives and superlatives make distinctions between things in their
daily life
Understand and use vocabulary related to Christmas in America

Sticky notes
Pitcher and three glasses of water
Great Gatsby Worksheet
Comparative PowerPoint

Warm Up
Sticky Adjectives (15 minutes)
Give each student 3-5 sticky notes when they come in. Instruct them to write down an
adjective on that sticky note describing something in the room (i.e. wooden for the
table, shiny for the whiteboard, colorful for the map). They should put the sticky
note on that object. Encourage them to use different words than other students when
putting up their sticky notes.

If students are still coming in and other students are finished, have them write down
sentences using the sticky-note adjectives to describe objects in the room.

How Full are the Cups? (15 minutes)
Pour water into one of the cups. Ask students if its full or empty. Then pour less water
into one of the other glass. Ask students which glass has more water. Ask students
which cup is fuller. Ask students which glass has less water; which cup is emptier?
Drink some of the water so that both glasses are equal. Ask students what the water
looks like now which glass has more? (neither). When two things are the same, we say
theyre equal.

Pour water into the third cup. Ask student which cup has the most water? Which cup is
the fullest? Which cup has the least amount of water? Which cup is the emptiest? Drink
the water so that they are all equal. Now ask students: which is the fullest and the

Teach the Material (20 minutes)

Write all of these words on the board: more water, fuller, less water, emptier, most
water, fullest, least amount of water, emptiest, equal

Explain that comparatives are when we use an adjective to describe something in

relation to something else. To do this, we use er and more. But sometimes, you want
to do more than just compare two things, you want to say, out of several options, which
is the most of something. To make a superlatives, or the greatest/highest/best of
something, we typically use est or most. Put examples up on the board to
demonstrate this; use them in conjunction with people or stories to help demonstrate
the difference. Any adjective can be made into a comparative or a superlative: good,
better, best, happy, happier, happiest, nice, nicer, nicest, helpful, more helpful, most

Guided Activities
Great Gatsby, Greater Gatsby 15 minutes
Ask students if theyve seen the movie or read the book The Great Gatsby. Explain that it
is set in the United States, during the 1920s. Show pictures of outfits, parties, and
settings during that time to help generate background knowledge. This is the very
beginning of the movie, where the narrator, Nick Carraway, describes his friendship
with Gatsby. It also might be helpful to do a vocabulary PowerPoint with some of the
unfamiliar words in the video clip (hysteria, vulnerable,

Give students the worksheet with the movie dialogue. Explain that their job will be to
fill-in-the-blanks with comparatives from the movie. For example if he says, in my
older years, you would find the word from the word box (in this case, old wouldnt
be in the word box), and make it into the comparative that he said. Listen and watch for
differences between comparatives that add er to the end and comparative that use

Go through the movie segment twice, to make sure that every student is caught up.
Review the worksheet answers as a class. If you want, have a discussion at the end
about what students think that life would have been like in the 1920s or if they would
have liked to live back then.
(worksheet at the end of the lesson plan, adapted from:
comparatives.html )

Different Kinds of Christmas 15 minutes

*this activity could be adapted for whatever event is happening at the time (i.e. world
series, world cup, Olympics, the Oscars, popular TV shows)
Put up a PowerPoint with slides of pictures and sentence prompts. On the first few
slides, include the beginning of a sentence (Leonardo DiCaprio is ____ than Morgan
Freeman), and include the adjective at the bottom (tall/short). As a group or as
individuals, have students suggest the correct comparative form of the adjective and
insert it into the sentence. As the presentation goes along, take away the adjective to get
students brainstorming and observing differences in the picture. By the end of the
presentation, take away the sentence prompt as well.

Communicative/Free Activities
Comparative Geography 15 minutes
Split the class up into two teams. Give each team a white board marker. Have students
shout out as many adjectives as they can think of. Then, have each team name five
countries. Write their countries on the board, next to the adjectives. Give the students
ten minutes, in groups, to write sentences joining the countries together, using a
comparative adjective from the adjectives listed on the board.
For example: Sudan is hotter than Russia, The United States is bigger than Belgium

Our superlative class 25 minutes

Have students each write down two (encouraging) superlatives (smartest, funniest) and
submit them to you in a bowl. Write each of the superlatives up on the board, along
with the names of every student in the class (this would work better with a smaller
class). Instruct each student to write down sentences for every superlative, matching
one of the adjectives with someone in the class (i.e. Ahmed is the funniest person in
class. Maria is the quietest person in class. Basheer is the happiest person in class.)
When students submit their papers, explain that you will check their sentences and
come up with a tally of votes for each person/superlative and a class-profile that youll
present during the next class.

Word Bank
Make the words from the word bank into comparatives used in the video clip.

1) In my _________________ and _________________ years my father gave me some advice that Ive been
turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all
the people in this world havent had the advantages that youve had.

2) The ________________ with the time we were, the _________________.

3) He was the single _____________________ person I have ever met;

4) The parties were _________________________.

5) The shows were ____________________________.

6) The buildings were ________________________.

7) The morals were _____________________ and the ban on alcohol had backfired, making the liquor

Watch the movie segment again and check your answers.

Answer key
1. younger, more vulnerable
2. more in tune, more we drank
3. most hopeful (this is the one superlative in there)
4. bigger
5. broader
6. higher
7. looser, cheaper