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3 Steps To Teaching Articles In Grade 2

Grammar, Literacy, Writing & Language

Written by: Krys Warstillo

Grammar skills in general can get lost in the crazy shuffle of our classrooms. That’s okay! Teaching articles in grade 2 can seem like something so tiny but it makes such a big difference in our student’s writing and speaking. Read on for a simple and engaging way to teach proper article usage to your students.

What’s An Article?

First of all, what’s an article? Articles are little words with big importance. The basic English articles are A, AN, and THE. They can make quite the impact on a student’s speaking and writing. If you have students who are English language learners explicitly teaching them how to use articles correctly is even more important. Some languages don’t have articles so it might be a brand new skill for some students. 

Step 1: Start Simple!

When you are teaching articles in grade 2 and find you have students who are struggling, start super simple. Hold up pictures or real objects and play some rounds of, “What’s This?” This is a great place to start building an anchor chart together. 

First, start with single objects that begin with consonants. Write the names of the objects down and underline the first letter. For example, write down book, pencil, and marker. Underline the first letter and discuss how each word is singular and begins with a consonant. Together, add the article A before each word.

anchor chart with single objects beginning with consonants to demonstrate the article a

Next, move on to singular nouns that begin with vowels. For example apple, an umbrella, and orange. Repeat the process but this time pointing out that all of these words begin with vowels instead of consonants and that they are singular. Guide students toward the understanding that these words would follow the article AN

anchor chart with single objects beginning with consonants to demonstrate the articles a and an

Then, move on to groups of the objects you’ve already used. Use a mixture of words that begin with vowels and consonants. Ask students what’s different about these words. Use this as an opportunity to discuss the difference between singular and plural nouns. Now add in the article THE to finish up the basics of your anchor chart. 

anchor chart with single objects beginning with consonants to demonstrate the articles a, an, and the

Finally, move on to using the article THE when describing specific nouns. Point out to your students that sometimes we’re talking about specific things. The person in the picture wouldn’t want just any pencil. They’d want THE pencil that they’re holding. Ask students to find specific things and describe them using the article THE. Finish your anchor chart together so your students have a handy reference.

Step 2: Move On To Complete Sentences 

To add a little more complexity and guided practice give your students open-ended sentences to fill in. Try sentences like:

  • The dog chomped on a _________.
  • The girl loved the ______________.
  • I saw an _________ under the table. 

Ask students to use the article rules they learned to fill in these sentences correctly. To make it more active ask students to collect things around the classroom to fill in the blanks. If they’re having difficulty ask them to write out words and decide if they’re plural/singular or if they begin with a vowel or consonant. Try grabbing some whiteboards or sticky notes for a quick and easy exit ticket.

sticky notes with simple sentences demonstrating how to use articles in a sentence

Step 3: Review The Skill In Text

Once your students have a handle on articles it’s time to point them out in text for your students. Point out examples and discuss why that particular article was used. For a quick no-prep activity ask your students to find articles in reading comprehension passages. 

articles the and a highlighted in 2nd grade text
Download Saturday Morning Here

Keep Things Fresh

To keep your students’ grammar skills sharp add the Shooting Hoops grammar center to your literacy rotations. This fun center asks students to match sentences with the article that completes it. 

shooting hoops grammar center activity in which students match sentences missing the article to the correct article the, a, an
Download Shooting Hoops Here

Another center option is the article Sentence Toothy task cards. These are great because they’re self-correcting. These are especially great for students who need some reinforcement because they give them the opportunity to practice articles in a low-pressure setting with immediate feedback. Plus, they’re fun!

sentence task cards for the 2nd grade grammar toothy game to practice inserting correct articles the, a, or an in sentences
Download Articles Toothy Here

Teaching Articles (& More!) In Grade 2

Grammar can be a subject that gets neglected because of how tight the school day is. Adding in small bits every single day has always been the most effective for me. That’s why I love Grammar Day By Day pages. It’s 5-10 minutes a day and spiral grammar instruction. Use it as an easy warm-up to your ELA block. It’s fast, effective, and gets everyone in the literacy frame of mind. 

Grammar Day By Day

Download Grammar Day by Day Sheets HERE

How To Other Teach Grammar Skills

Check out these links below for tips on teaching specific grammar skills.

1 Comment

  1. Mkhuleko

    This is helpful. Thank you

    Reply

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Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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