A wise teacher knows that comparative endings are an important second grade grammar skill.
A wiser teacher understands there are many rules to teaching comparative endings.
The wisest teacher turns to Lucky Little Learners to find new strategies and ideas for teaching comparative endings.
We’re glad you’re here! Keep reading to find out more about how to teach comparative endings.
What Are Comparative Endings?
To understand comparative endings, students must first have a grasp on two other areas of grammar: nouns and adjectives.
Noun: a person, place, thing, or idea
Adjective: a word that describes a noun
Example: The smart teacher
Comparative endings: often called comparative adjectives, these words are used to compare nouns to each other. These words end with the suffix -er.
Example: The smarter teacher
Superlative endings: often called superlative adjectives, these words are used to compare a group of three or more nouns. These words end with the suffix -est
Example: The smartest teacher
How to Use -er and -est
Here are some tips to remember when to use -er and -est endings.
When to use -er endings
- When you want to compare two things to each other.
- Example: Your pillow is soft. My pillow is softer.
- When the word “than” is used in the sentence.
- Example: A pillow is softer than a rock.
When to use -est endings
- When there are three or more nouns to compare
- Example: That turtle is slow. That turtle is slower. This turtle is the slowest.
- Words ending with -est usually have the word “the” in front of it.
- Example: The slowest animal on earth is the sloth.
How to Teach -er and -est
Like most English grammar rules, students will learn to master -er and -est endings with consistent written and verbal exposure and practice. When adding -er and -est endings to a base adjective, keep these tricky spelling tips in mind:
- If the adjective is a CVC word, double the final consonant before adding the ending
- Example: Big, bigger, biggest
- If the adjective is a CVCe word, add only -r and -st
- Example: Cute, cuter, cutest
- If the adjective ends with y, drop the y and change it to i before adding the ending
- Example: funny, funnier, funniest
Spiral ELA is the perfect year-long review of important grammar skills. Check out comparative and superlative ending exercises in the 2nd Grade ELA Spiral Review Bundle.
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2nd Grade Spiral ELA
Keep reading for more ways to expose students to comparative and superlative endings.
Comparative Ending Activities
Try these hands-on activities to help students master -er and -est endings.
Materials: Blocks, cardboard, toy racecars, paper
Activity: Create a “parking lot” (a piece of paper, notecard, or dry erase board) for each of the following -er and -est words:
- Fast, faster, fastest
- Slow, slower, slowest
- Speedy, speedier, speediest
Students will work together to create a car ramp. Students will race three cars down the ramp, and place their cars in the correct comparative and superlative parking lot. Challenge the students to think of their own comparative and superlative adjectives for the cars.
Materials: Play-Doh, sticky notes
Using Play-Doh, have students create 3 different simple objects, and write comparative and superlative words to describe their creations. Write each word on a sticky note and label their sculptures. Have the whole class take a tour of each other’s creations and write down their favorite model and words!
Grammar Day by Day
Our Grammar Day by Day Bundle gives you the tools and activities you need to master a whole year of grammar skills. One of the favorite activities featured in Grammar Day by Day is a comparative ending word spinner. Students will use a paper clip, pencil, and special spinner to create new comparative and superlative words, and record them on the answer sheet. This activity is great for independent practice, small group, literacy centers, homework, and more!
Grammar Day By Day
Build a Robot
Students will have fun building their own comparative ending Robot. To play, select a robot leg piece from the cards. Read the base word. Find the next piece of the robot that has the matching comparative word. Record your answers on the answer sheet to create a sentence. Find the Build a Robot activity and other fun and engaging grammar centers in the 2nd Grade Grammar Centers Bundle (featuring both print and digital versions!).
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At Lucky Little Learners, we always say “Be the teacher that works smarter, not harder.” See what we did with those comparative endings there?!? (wink wink!). Be the smartest teacher and check out the links below for tips on teaching more grammar skills.
How to Teach Other 2nd Grade Grammar Skills
Common & proper nouns
Types of sentences
Antonyms & Synonyms
Shades of meaning – verbs & adjectives
Similes & metaphors