Grammar lessons can become stale and boring to children. Subject -verb agreement classroom games allow a student to better understand this sometimes confusing part of grammar.

What Is a Subject?

A subject is a person, place, idea or thing that is being described, discussed or otherwise dealt with. It can be a noun or pronoun along with all of the modifiers that tag along with it.

A subject can be at the beginning, middle or end of a sentence. If you find it hard to locate the subject, then you can identify it with the verb in the sentence.

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To better understand a subject, here are a few examples with the subject in bold:

  • Allison puts a lot of fertilizer on her strawberry patch to make sweet, fat fruit.
  • During her ballet class, Patricia pirouetted on the dance floor.
  • The careening car crashed into the garden wall.
  • Henry will play the ukulele.

What Is a Verb?

A verb describes an action, state or occurrence. It forms the main part of the predicate of a sentence.

Every verb must have a subject to complete the sentence. A verb that expresses an action, such as danced, sneezed, studied, careened, drove or barked, has a who or what subject.

All verbs are not action verbs. Some verbs are linking or helping verbs, which connect the subject to something that is referring to the subject. Here are a few examples of verbs in action with the verbs in bold:

  • Allison puts a lot of fertilizer on her strawberry patch to make sweet, fat fruit. (predicate verb)
  • During her ballet class, Patricia pirouetted on the dance floor. (action verb)
  • The careening car crashed into the garden wall. (action verb)
  • Henry will play the ukulele. (will is a helping verb and play is an action verb)

What Is Subject-Verb Agreement?

The subject-verb agreement means that the subject and the verb need to agree in number. Simply put, they have to agree in the singular form or the plural form. Here are a few examples with the subject in bold and the incorrect verb in italic:

  • My dog always bark at strangers. (If you had multiple dogs, the verb would be correct.)
  • These shoes is too small for me. (The verb does not match the plural of shoes.)

Subject-Verb Agreement Classroom Games

There are many fun ways to create motivation for a subject-verb agreement lesson. A good game gives a child motivation for subject -verb agreement and understanding the concept.

Deal or No Deal – Based on the popular television show, create 25 briefcases. This can be done with paper or boxes. Each case has a player, a question and the correct answer.

The points add up as the player answers them, with the first case worth one point, the second worth two, the third case worth three and so on. The class has three “No Deal” opportunities without losing points.

Subject-Verb Agreement Games for Middle School

Middle school children are hungry for learning and for fun. Here are a few subject-verb agreement games that middle school students will enjoy.

  • Subject Verb Party – Use two colors of index cards, one for the subject and the other for the predicate. Write half of each sentence on a card and hand them out to the class. Students read their cards out loud one at a time before they need to find who holds the missing half of the sentence.
  • Subject Verb Relay – On either side of a room, write identical sets of sentences with a choice of a singular or plural verb form. Divide the class into two teams to have a relay race to correctly complete the sentences with the correct verb and subject. One point is given to each team for each correct sentence with bonus points for being the first team to finish.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.