Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA) Rule 1
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
Students will apply subject-verb agreement rules to their writing.
- LCD projector (optional)
- Laptop computer (optional)
- Subject-Verb Agreement Rule 1 Presentation (PDF) (optional)
- Subject-Verb Agreement Rule Worksheet (see below for directions)
Set Up and Prepare
- Set up the Subject-Verb Agreement Rule 1 Presentation (PDF) or write the following notes on chart paper for students to view:
- Subject - The person, place, thing, or idea that a sentence is about.
- Verb - Tells what the subject does. (unless it is an irregular verb)
- Subject-Verb Agreement - If the subject of a sentence is plural, the verb must also be plural. If the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb must also be singular. (Ex. He exercises at 6 o'clock every morning.)
- SVA tip - To make a subject plural, you normally add an ‘s.' (ex. boy/boys, pitcher/pitchers). To make a verb plural, you normally remove the ‘s.' (ex. plays/play, throws/throw)
Subject Verb Boys play Boy plays Pitcher throws Pitchers throw
- Prepare a worksheet in order for students to independently practice applying this rule. For this worksheet, format your sentences similar to those in the guided practice below. Be sure to leave space for students to explain why each answer is correct according to the SVA rule.
- Explicitly explain the information above to students. If necessary, review irregular verbs.
- Then, guide students through practicing the application of the subject-verb agreement rule (guided practice). This can be done by showing students sets of sentences. In each set, one sentence should exhibit subject-verb agreement and the other will exhibit subject-verb disagreement.
- Guide students in selecting the grammatically correct sentence and explaining why their choice is correct. (ex. The players is already at the game. Vs. The players are already at the game.)
- After the guided practice, have students attempt this task independently. Distribute the independent practice worksheet.
- Be sure to require students to explain why their choice is correct based on the SVA rule.
Supporting All Learners
Create two versions of your independent practice worksheet. One version should contain more complex sentences for your on level to advanced students. The other version should contain more simplistic sentences such as those examples in the directions above.
- Review the SVA rule. Then assign an activity where students must apply the SVA rule in context as opposed to applying the rule to separate sets of sentences. This can by done by first selecting 2 paragraphs from a newspaper article or student textbook. Re-type those paragraphs leaving blank spaces in the places where verbs appear. The students must then fill in the blank with an appropriate verb that agrees with the subject in that particular sentence.
- Review the SVA rule. Then have students complete a multiple choice assessment of the rule. When creating my multiple choice assessment, I considered grammatical errors that my students normally make verbally and in writing. For example:
Directions - Complete each sentence with the correct present tense verb.
Altogether, the equipment_____________ over $500.
- Create a second worksheet containing sentence sets (exactly like the independent practice). Have students select the grammatically correct sentence in each set and explain why their choice is correct based on the subject-verb agreement rule.
- Create a worksheet containing 15 sentences. In each sentence, give students the option of choosing between a verb that agrees with the subject and a verb that disagrees with the subject. (ex. It (appear/appears) that Troy is involved with a gang.)
Review completed student assignments. If the worksheets show a consistent misunderstanding of the SVA rule, re-teach the rule.
Collect students' independent practice worksheets and assess their ability to apply the SVA rule.