If you’re looking for the best singular and plural noun games and activities for English learners, then you’re certainly in the right place. We have more than 25 of those, along with lesson plans, worksheets and more! Keep on reading for our tips and tricks for teaching singular and plural nouns for ESL.
Activities for Singular and Plural Nouns
Check out these singular and plural noun ESL activities and games.
#1: Picture Prompt
Try out this simple activity to introduce single and plural nouns. Show a picture on the screen with various objects. Some of them should have 1 object while others have more.
Then, elicit from students what they see in the picture and correct any “wrong” answers. For example, “ball” when there is more than 1 ball —>balls.
At the end of the activity, see if students can deduce any rules about singular or plural nouns. Find out more about this no prep game:
#2: Singular/Plural Noun Board Games
I love to use board games with my students. Teacher’s resource books often have some in them, or it’s easy enough to make your own in just a few minutes. In this case, I fill my board with various questions related to the topic. For example,
- How many pairs of shoes do you have?
- Do you have a laptop computer?
As you can see, the questions are related to singular and plural nouns. Check this out for more details:
#3: Hot Potato
Try out one of my favourite singular plural activities:
#4: Chain Spelling
This is a nice game for beginners who are just learning to make nouns into their plural forms. For absolute beginners, I just say the word (dog) and have them spell it. For slightly higher-level students, I say the singular form (dog) and have them spell the plural form (dogs). Check it out:
#5: Puzzle Finder
This is a simple game for absolute beginners who are just getting started with English. Have corresponding puzzle pieces and then put the singular version of the noun on one of them and the plural version on the other. For example:
- cat, cats
- potato, potatoes
- bus, buses
Then, students have to circulate around the class until they find their match. When everyone is done, go around the class and have each student say their word. Then they have to say whether the word is for one or more than one. Learn more:
#6: ESL Vocabulary Auction
This is one of my favourite class review games and I often use it before a midterm or final exam. However, it’s also a nice way to review these kinds of nouns. Learn more about it:
#8: Use Some Videos
I sometimes get the feeling that my students get tired of hearing me talk all the time! That’s why I like to let some other teachers do the heavy lifting sometimes. Have a search on YouTube for singular plural ESL and you’ll find a ton of excellent videos for all ages and levels. Show the video and you’ll also find lots of great quiz videos as well.
Show the video, review the highlights and then jump into the rest of the lesson.
#9: SOS Game
This is a fun review activity that students can play in pairs or small groups. Give them a sheet of questions that relate to singular/plural nouns and they can get down to it. Find out more:
This is a nice singular plural activity for higher-level students.
#11: ESL Basketball Game Challenge
Try out this fun vocabulary game for kids! It lends itself well to just about any grammatical point or vocabulary set, including singular/plural nouns. Find out more:
#12: Rocks Scissor Paper
Try out this fun review activity to work on questions and answers with your students. For example:
- What’s on your feet? / I’m wearing two shoes.
- How many students are in this class? / There are _____ students.
For absolute beginners, you can have them match the singular noun to the plural form. Learn more about all the variations here:
#13: Simple Fruits and Vegetables Quiz
A nice topic for singular/plural nouns is fruits and vegetables because some of them are countable, while others are uncountable. Have a look at this fun online quiz:
#14: Got to Hand it to You
I like this activity because it takes something kind of old and boring (error correction) and turns into a fun game that requires some serious teamwork. In this case, write down some sentences that have errors with singular and plural forms. Find out more:
#15: Consider Using the Test-Teach-Test Approach
Unless your students are absolute beginners, they likely already know the basics of this grammar point, particularly when it comes to adding an “S” onto the end of plural nouns. They may even know the more complicated rules such as when to add an “E.”
If this is the case, then you may want to consider using the Test-Teach-Test approach. Essentially, you give students a small test before teaching anything. Then, you check the test and see what students don’t know so you can focus your teaching on that. After that, students have another small test to see what they’ve learned.
Find out more about this style of teaching here:
#16: Concentration Memory Game
This is a nice activity for beginners. Make up some matching cards. One half has the word (dogs) and the other one has a corresponding picture. You could also include the singular version of the words to pump up the difficulty a little bit.
After that, it’s a memory game that students play in small groups. Students really enjoy it so be sure to give it a try
#17: Dialogue Substitution
#18: Disappearing Text
This is a nice time-filler activity that can be used at the end of class to review this concept. Write down a target sentence on the board. Have the students say it out loud together. Then, erase a word (or two) and have students say it again. Repeat until nothing is left. Find out more:
#19: Preposition Games and Activities
I love to throw in a bit of review about singular and plural nouns when I’m doing the unit on prepositions. It’s easy if you get students to make some sentences using classroom objects (some pencils, an eraser, books, etc.). Find out all my ideas for that here:
#21: Classroom English Activities
For beginners, classroom objects are a good place to start when teaching the differences between singular and plural nouns. There are lots of fun activities and games to use for this. Here are some of my favourites:
#22: Singular Plural Crossword
It’s super easy to make your crossword puzzle using the puzzle maker at Discovery.com (do a quick Google search). Put in the singular form as the clue (apple, foot, eye) and then the answer as the plural form (apples, feet, eyes).
#23: Running Dictation
#24: ESL Fruit and Vegetable Activities
For beginners, a great topic for teaching this grammatical point is classroom English. Another one is fruit and vegetables as it naturally lends itself to singular and plural forms. Have a look here at some of my best ideas:
#25: 2 Forms
This is a very simple activity for beginners who are just getting started with this concept. Bring in a few objects or find some in the classroom. Then, put some of them on the desk and ask students what you have or what they see. For example:
- You have two apples.
- I see a pencil.
- You have one book.
- I see an apple.
- You have 4 pairs of scissors.
#26: Error Correction Relay Race
#27: Singular and Plural Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? They can be a nice way to show beginners this key concept. Show a picture of an apple and some apples. Or 1 foot, and 2 feet. My favourite source for this kind of thing is Google Images. Just do a quick search for whatever you’re looking for.
#28: Collective Nouns
Take a look at this handy guide for students who want to learn the names for groups of things:
Singular and Plural Noun Lesson Plans
If you’re a teacher, then you’ll already know how useful it is to borrow what others have created. Don’t reinvent the wheel! Have a look at these singular and plural noun lesson plans:
Singular/Plural Noun Worksheets
Check out these worksheets that are ideal for practicing singular/plural nouns:
Online Practice for Singular Plural Nouns
Here are some nice online practice opportunities for this important grammar concept:
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching singulars and plurals. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is a singular or plural noun?
A singular noun refers to one of something. A plural noun refers to more than one and is generally signified with an “s” at the end. For example, apple—>apples. However, there are some exceptions (foot—>feet) and other rules for specific words (countable/uncountable nouns).
How do you teach a singular and plural lesson plan?
To teach a singular and plural lesson plan, start by demonstrating the concept using some classroom objects (pen/pens, book/books, etc.). Ask students to make some words by themselves. Then, explain the more complicated rules about them and have students do some more practice.
Why is it important to learn about singular and plurals?
It’s important to learn about singular and plurals because of subject/verb agreement, which is very important in English. For example, There is an apple. There are some apples. These two sentences are quite different because of how many apples we’re talking about.
Did you like these Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 57 Pages - 10/26/2015 (Publication Date)
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Singular & Plural Nouns: Join the Conversation
Do you have any favourite SIngular or plural noun games or activities? Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2024-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API