15 Hacks to Help Kids Learn to Use Subject-Verb Agreement While Speaking

Are you looking for hacks to help kids learn to use subject-verb agreement? If so, keep reading.

1. Boost the student’s understanding of the problem by recording the student when speaking with another student who exhibits appropriate subject-verb agreement. Play the recording for the student to analyze and see if they can find correct/incorrect subject-verb forms.

2. Create a list of those verbs the student most commonly uses incorrectly. This list will become the guide for learning activities in subject-verb agreement.

3. Get the student’s hearing reviewed if it has not been recently reviewed.

4. Make sure the student knows that sentences express thoughts about a subject and what that subject is or does.

5. Make sure the student knows the concept of “subject” and “verb” by demonstrating through the use of objects, images, and/or written sentences (depending on the student’s abilities).

6. Make sure the student knows the concept of plurality (e.g., have the student “point to an image of a cat” and “point to an image of cats”).

7. Give the student correct examples of subject-verb agreement for those combinations they most commonly use incorrectly.

8. Praise the student for appropriate use of subject-verb agreement: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

9. Record the student’s speech and point out errors in subject-verb agreement. With each successive recording, reinforce the student as their use of grammar improves.

10. Converse with the student to explain that they are using unacceptable subject-verb agreement and emphasize the importance of speaking in grammatically correct sentences.

11. Utilize a private signal (e.g., touching earlobe, raising index finger, etc.) to remind the student to use correct subject-verb agreement.

12. On occasions where speaking privately with the student, repeat their subject-verb error with a rising inflection (e.g., “He done it?”) to assess if the student recognizes errors and spontaneously makes appropriate corrections.

13. Jot down specific subject-verb errors made by the student during the day. Provide the written sentences to the student and have them make appropriate corrections. (At first, mark the errors for the student to correct. As the student becomes more proficient with this task, have them find and correct the errors independently.)

14. Consider using a language arts app. Click here to view a list of recommended apps.

15. Consider using a language development app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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