Unpack your Adjectives

Lesson plan:  ADJECTIVES IN DESCRIPTION AND QUALITATIVE ADJECTIVES  ( -ing vs. –ed) approximately 50 min.

Valerie Acosta

Language ability level: Low - intermediate to intermediate








5 - 7min

“I want a vacation”


Class as a whole

a) Ask the students where or what their ideal vacation is.

b)list these on a board

White/black board


Pair work

10 -12 min

“What a vacation”


Students in pairs

a) the students will be given a text that tells the story of a persons glorious/disastrous vacation. The students will read silently to themselves and develop questions to ask the other student about the text.

b) students should write the questions they are asking (to be tuned in for assessment – not evaluation) Students will take turns asking and answering questions about the text.

          *ex: Why was John bored? What did John find boring? What did he find amusing? Was John ever amused? What made John excited? Was there anything exciting to John?


c) students should be asked to notice the use of –ing and –ed in the adjectives that describe the vacation.

Various texts describing someone’s vacation.


Each pair can have a different text, or one text is a good vacation and the other a bad vacation.


Authentic texts can include travel brochures, and/or traveler ratings (available on the web)

*the students having different texts will facilitate the next activity

Student input and lecture

15 – 20 min

“Unpack your adjectives”


Class as a whole (but remain in pair configuration)

a) after the class has gone over their text’s they should be asked to identify adjectives

b) as the students identify adjectives the teacher should write them as they are said (ie: if one student says their vacationer was “bored” and another had a “boring time” both should be placed on the board.

c) the students can also be asked to give adjectives they would use to describe the vacation they read about that were not in the text

d) a brief explanation of the use of adjectives should be given, as well as a brief overview of  qualitative adjectives.

Black/white board


Pair activity

10 -12 min

“Our ideal vacation”


Students in pairs

a) in pairs students will choose one of the ideal vacations on the board

b) Students will attempt to write a brief description of their ideal vacation using adjectives that have been identified by the class. Half of the adjectives used should be qualitative.

c) Students should be talking about the adjectives and what they want to convey in their brief description.


*students should switch partners for this activity


*if time permits, students can present their descriptions to the  class, or if they need to finish for homework, they can be presented  next day.




“My last/future vacation”


Individual work

a) students should finish their descriptions for homework

b) if students are done with their pair descriptions, students should write descriptions of their past vacations or a future vacation they plan to take using qualitative adjectives

c) students should be prepared to present their descriptions to the class, or their pair work partner


*these descriptions are good for evaluation
















































Activity in qualitative adjectives and descriptive adjectives



In conjunction with lesson on qualitative adjectives and descriptive adjectives



To identify and use descriptive and qualitative adjectives in text and use them in own sentences.



Reading – identification and understanding

Listening – ability to respond to questions when asked

Speaking – ability to formulate questions; ability to explain parts of a text

Writing – ability to write questions; ability to formulate descriptions in sentences



Gather various texts on vacations. This can include travel brochures and travel web blogs rating vacations. Text should include descriptive and qualitative adjectives.



  1. ask students to get into pairs (small groups of three can be used)
  2. each group should have different texts to read to themselves
  3. Students will formulate questions to ask each other about the text.
    1.  These questions should be written down for the teacher to assess for proper use of language.
    2. Questions should include an adjective

ex: Why was John bored? What did John find boring? What did he find amusing? Was John ever amused? What made John excited? Was there anything exciting to John?

  1. Students will take turns asking each other questions about each others text.
    1. The teacher should take this time to walk around the room facilitating question formulation and to keep students on task.
    2. During the reading and questioning, students should underline or identify the adjectives, paying close attention to –ing and –ed endings in adjectives

      5.  Students in groups should choose one of the texts and should be asked to write their own description of the vacation using the       adjectives they identified, as well as new adjectives they did not encounter but know and understand.

      6.  Students should be asked to share their descriptions with either the class as a whole, or with other groups.