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Making Singular Nouns Plural


Language Arts  



By – Lisa Burton



1) Explain the difference between singular and plural nouns,
2) Make singular nouns plural by adding -s (written),
3) Visually and audibly recognize singular nouns and plural nouns, and
4) Give their own example of a singular noun made plural.



Plate of chocolate chip cookies, pencils, paper, handout of singular and plural words in picture, worksheet with singular and plural nouns listed (circle the plural words), worksheet of singular words with a blank after them (add -s to make words plural), and Book Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina



“I brought something with me today.” (Hold up the plate of cookies). “What is on this plate?” Students should answer: “cookies”. Hold up one cookie for students to see and ask, “What is this?” Students should answer: “a cookie!” Ask students what the difference was in their answers. They should say that the first answer included all the cookies, and the second answer was just about one of the cookies. Guide them to answer this if they have difficulty. Confirm when they are correct. “The first answer has what letter at the end that made it more than one?” Answer: “s” A word that tells us about more than one item is a plural word. When we said “cookie” without the “s” it was singular – just one.



 “Today we are going to read the story ‘Caps for Sale’ that has examples of singular and plural words. (Review the meaning of the words ‘singular’ and ‘plural’ again: a singular word is just one and a plural word is more than one.) Who can tell me what the plural word in the title of the book is?” Answer: “caps”. Explain that the “s” is added to cap just like to “cookie” to make it more than one. “S” is added to the end of a word to make it more than one.


Activities and Procedure:

  1. Read “Caps for Sale”
  • Before beginning to read, tell children to listen for plural words, (words that end in “s” and describe more than one thing) and when they hear the plural words, to give you (the teacher) a “thumbs up” signal.
  • Read the book slowly, being careful to notice the “thumbs up” from the students on the plural words.
  • After reading, have children recall orally (while teacher writes them on the board) the words that were plural. After they have remembered all they could, page through the book and see if they can find anymore they missed.
  • Talk about other plural words that were not in the story text, but were shown in pictures in the book.
  • Add these to the collection of plural words on the board.
  • Make a column of the singular words that relate to the plural words listed. Show students from the list on the board that each word is made plural by adding an “s”.
  1. Pass out a worksheet that has two columns. Under each column there is either a picture of one object or a group of objects with the singular or plural words under it. This is done together as a class, with either the teacher using the board or overhead
  • For example: stars star, cow cows, cars car, hat hats
  • Students are to circle the picture and relating word that is plural.
  • Bring to their attention every time an “s” is found at the end of the plural words. Have students also circle the “-s” at the end of each plural word.
  1. For their independent activity, follow the prior worksheet with a similar one- the difference: the pictures will be gone
  • Students are to individually circle the plural words.
  • If some students finish before others, let the “early birds” draw pictures for the words given (one picture for singular words and two pictures for plural words.)
  • When everyone has completed the exercise, go over the answers.
  1. The last exercise will be used as an assessment of the learned material. The students are given a paper with only singular words listed, and are told to add an “-s” to make each of them plural.
  2. Enrichment Activity: after completing the “Add an ‘–s’” worksheet, write a list of at least 5 singular words on the back of your paper. Next to each singular word, write its plural friend. If this is chosen for all students, each student may share one of the words they chose, saying first the singular and then plural pronunciations.



Ask the students the following questions:

  • What did we learn was the difference between singular and plural words?
  • How do we make a singular word plural? What letter do we add?
  • Why is it important to know how to make a word plural? (Because if you want more than one chocolate chip cookie, you will know what letter to add to ask politely for two!)

Pass out the chocolate chip cookies, and ENJOY!


By monitoring their participation in responding to the read plural words , by their answers on the worksheets (especially the “Add an ‘-s’” to make the words plural) and their own examples given singular and plural words, the teacher should be able to informally and formally assess and gauge their understanding and ability to produce the new material on their own.


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