22 Strategies to Teach Students to Use Subject-Verb Agreement While Writing

Are you looking for strategies to teach students to use subject-verb agreement while writing? If so, keep reading.

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

2. Get the learner to finish written worksheets on which they must supply the correct verb forms to go with specific subjects (e.g., “He __ the dishes.”).

3. Teach the learner that various forms of verbs go with various subjects and that correct subject-verb agreement requires an appropriate verb form. Get the learner to practice matching verbs to lists of subjects.

4. Make sure the learner receives instruction in subject-verb agreement for those subject-verb combinations they commonly have difficulty writing correctly.

5. Daily, examine those skills, ideas, tasks, etc., that have been previously introduced.

6. Teach the learner the concept of subject and verb by demonstrating through the use of objects, images, and/or written sentences (depending on the learner’s abilities).

7. Acknowledge quality work (e.g., display the learner’s work, congratulations).

8. Exhibit appropriate subject-verb agreement when speaking, so the learner learns appropriate subject-verb agreement through oral channels.

9. Get the learner to be a peer tutor to teach a concept they have learned to another learner as reinforcement.

10. Give a review of standard subject-verb agreement rules through a chart posted in the classroom (e.g., cows run, a cow runs, etc.).

11. Give the learner an increased chance for help or assistance on academic tasks (e.g., peer tutoring, instructions for work sent home, frequent interactions, etc.).

12. Teach the learner the concept of plurality (e.g., have the learner “point to an image of a cat” and “point to an image of cats”).

13. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the learner to hurry and make errors in subject-verb agreement.

14. Do not require the learner to learn more information than they are capable of learning at any time.

15. Praise the learner for using appropriate subject-verb agreement when writing: (a) give the learner 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 learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

16. Make the learner proofread their written work for subject-verb agreement. Praise the learner for correcting all errors.

17. Teach the learner that sentences express thoughts about a subject and what that subject is or does.

18. Provide the learner specific verb forms and have them supply appropriate subjects to go with each.

19. Present the learner images of people, places, or things. Ask them to make a statement about each image. Get the learner to find the subject and verb of the oral sentence and tell whether they agree.

20. Consider using one of the apps on one of our best writing apps lists:

The Tech Edvocate’s List of 31 Grammar & Writing Apps, Tools & Resources

Ten Apps to Help Students Develop Writing Skills

10 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for Elementary School Students

11 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for High School Students

10 of the Best Grammar and Writing Apps for Middle School Students

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