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Home » Blog » Literacy » Phonics » Tips for Teaching Inflectional Endings

Tips for Teaching Inflectional Endings

Literacy, Phonics, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

Inflectional endings may sound like a complex concept, but it’s as easy as adding a few letters to the end of the word. When inflectional endings are added to the end of a word, they change the meaning or quality of the word. Let’s take a look at how to teach inflectional endings in the 2nd grade classroom.

What are inflectional endings?

anchor chart to teach inflectional endings

Inflectional endings are sometimes called inflected endings. An inflectional ending changes the meaning of a base word. Examples of inflectional endings are: -s, -ing, -es, -ed, -est.

Teaching Inflectional Endings in 2nd Grade

Rules, rules, rules! There are so many different rules to follow when it comes to phonics skills. Here are the basic rules for students to remember when it comes to inflectional endings:

Inflectional endings can be added to nouns or verbs.

When a word ends with short vowel-consonant, double the last letter before adding -ed or -ing

Example: Hop to hopped, run to running

If the word ends in -y, drop the y and change it to i before adding the inflectional endings -es, -ed. -est

Example: Cry to cries, carry to carried, merry to merriest

inflectional ending rules about adding ed, ing, es, est to the end of words

Adding -s or -ed to a verb changes the verb tense

Adding -s to a verb tells that the action is happening in the present moment. Adding -ed to a word changes the verb tense. It tells that an action happened in the past.

Example: Joe jumps over the log. (Present tense) Joe jumped over the log. (Past tense)

When adding -ing to a word ending with y, leave the y alone and simply add -ing

Example: Dry to drying, fly to flying

inflectional ending rules about changing a word from present tense to past tense and adding ing to words that end in y

Inflectional Ending Activities, Centers, and More!

Looking for more hands-on ideas on how to teach inflectional endings in 2nd grade? Take a look at these activities and centers to add to your literacy routine.

Inflectional Ending Activities without spelling changes

-ed -ing word sort

camping endings worksheet to practice common inflectional endings

In this activity, students will read, write and sort words with -ed and -ing endings

Spelling Stars

literacy center game to practice inflectional endings without spelling changes

This hands-on phonics center is where students match a Hollywood star to a clapboard with the missing word that has the correct inflectional ending without spelling changes.

Sorting Crayons Inflectional Endings Center

sorting crayons literacy center to practice inflectional endings

In this center, students will read a sentence that includes a word with an inflectional ending. Students will identify the word and sort it into the correct column. This center focuses on words with -ed, -ing, and -s endings.

Inflectional Ending Activities with spelling changes

“Pandas at Play” Inflectional Ending Center with spelling changes

pandas at play literacy center to practice inflectional endings with spelling changes

This 2nd grade hands-on phonics center has students select a panda card and then write the base word with the correct spelling of each inflectional ending in the recording sheet.

Phonics Day by Day

Daily phonics exercises to practice inflectional endings

In this spiral review, students will complete a brief, engaging activity of previously taught phonics skills. This unit focuses on inflectional endings, both with and without spelling changes.

Looking for more resources to teach inflectional endings to 2nd grade students? Take a look at All Access for all your phonics and literacy block planning needs!

How to Teach other 2nd Grade Phonics Concepts

Ready to teach another phonics skill? We’ve got a post for that!

Hard & Soft C/G

Multisensory Phonics Activities

Silent Letters

Short Vowels

Short Vowel Digraphs

Long Vowels

Vowel Teams

Teaching Vowel Teams


Inflectional Endings

Syllable Patterns/Multisyllabic Words

How to Introduce the 6 Syllable Types



  1. Brittany Moore

    I would like to get the tips for teaching inflectional ending

  2. Brittany Moore

    I would like to get the tips for teaching inflectional ending . This will help my students that need hep understanding the ending of ED


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