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Teaching Comparative Endings

Grammar, Literacy, Writing & Language

Written by: Angie Olson

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.

Tips and strategies for teaching comparative endings in a 2nd grade classroom

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

Example: teacher

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

anchor chart to help students visualize when to use comparative endings when comparing two or three items

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

anchor chart to teach the spelling rules for adding comparative endings to words

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.

weekly review sheets to practice and review 2nd grade ela standards

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.

Comparing Cars

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.

car racing to teach and practice comparative endings with 2nd grade students

Clay Models

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!

color coding and word generation activities to practice recognizing comparative endings in 2nd grade

Download Grammar Day by Day Sheets HERE

Build a Robot

premade build a robot grammar center for practicing comparative endings in a fun way

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 (featuring both print and digital versions!).

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:

Is it time for a new concept in grammar? We have a post for that!

1st Grade Review



Common & Proper Nouns

Types of Sentences



Compound Words

Complete Sentences 


ABC Order

Verb Tenses

Linking Verbs 

Irregular Plural Nouns & Irregular Verbs


Possessive Nouns 


Comparative Endings ~ You are here!


Antonyms & Synonyms


Subject-Verb Agreement

Collective Nouns


Demonstrative Pronouns


Multiple-Meaning Words

Prepositional Phrases

Shades of Meaning-Verbs & Adjectives

Similes & Metaphors


how to teach comparative endings to 2nd graders


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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 15,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.