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How to Make Plurals of Words That End In f or fe: A "F"able


Subjects

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • 3-5

Brief Description

Use the fable in this lesson to teach students to spell the plurals of words ending in f or fe.

Objectives

Students will
  • become familiar with nouns that end in f or fe that follow the -ves plural rule.
  • use a fable (provided) to practice identifying words that follow the -ves rule.

Keywords

plural, fable

Materials Needed

A F-able by F.E. Words activity page

The Lesson

Before using this lesson, students should have prior knowledge of
  • how to identify nouns.
  • the rules for making the plural form of nouns ending in s, ch, x, or z.

    Provide students with the following list of nouns, and ask them to say the plural of each of the nouns: wolf, sniff, calf, elf, giraffe, half, knife, life, surf, loaf, cliff, self, shelf, thief, wife, safe, hoof, herself, scarf, and wharf.

    Point out to students that

  • some nouns that end in f (for example, cliff) have plurals (cliffs) with the soft ffs sound.
  • some nouns that end in f (for example, thief) have plurals (thieves) with the hard ves sound.
  • some words that end in a silent e that is preceded by an f (for example, safe, as in a place to keep money or jewels), have plurals (safes) with the soft ffs sound.
  • some words that end in a silent e that is preceded by an f (for example, knife) have plurals (knives) with the hard ves sound.
  • words that end in ff have plurals with the soft ffs sound.

    Now that students have said the plurals, introduce the concept of spelling those plurals. Ask the students how they think those nouns might be made plural. There are two rules, both based on the sound of the plural words.

  • If the plural noun ends with the soft ffs sound (cliffs, safes), it is made by simply adding s.
  • If the plural noun ends with the hard ves sound (thieves, hooves), it is made plural by changing the f or fe to ves.

    Next, provide students with the A F-able by F.E. Words activity page.

  • You might use this page as a whole-class activity. Have students take turns reading aloud the fable, then have them identify the nouns that end in the f sound.
  • Have students work in small groups. They can take turns reading the story and work together to identify the nouns that end in the f sound.
  • Use this activity as an independent or learning center activity. Can students identify and circle all 11 different nouns that end in the ff sound? Those words appear below in bold type. (Notes: Some of the words appear in the story more than once. The word of is not a noun.)
    A Fable
    by F.E. Words

    Once upon a time there lived a poor farmer and his wife. Each morning the farmer and his wife ate the very same thing for breakfast. The wife would go to her cupboard and get a loaf of bread from the shelf. She would use her knife to carefully cut the bread in half. The farmer and his wife each ate half a loaf of bread for breakfast.

    The only farm animal the couple had was a calf. One night while the farmer and his wife were sleeping, a thief came onto the farmers land. The thief tried to be very quiet. He was so quiet that he could not even hear himself as he stepped on each leaf that had fallen from the oak tree. Within a short time, the thief was gone -- with the calf.

    After the thief left the farm, he had to walk through the enchanted forest to reach his home. This forest was guarded by a magic elf. Once, long ago, the farmer and his wife had found the elf trapped in an abandoned well. They rescued him, and from that time on the elf always had a special feeling for the old couple. Now the elf, who was wise and knew everything that happened within miles of his forest, knew that the thief had stolen the farmers calf. So when the thief came through the forest that night, the elf used his magical powers to turn himself into a large gray wolf. When the thief walked through the forest, the elf, now changed into a ferocious wolf, jumped out in front of him.

    I know what an awful thing you have done, the wolf growled to the thief. Just for that, I will take your life! And that is exactly what the wolf did.

    The elf returned the calf to the farmers barn before sunrise. The farmer and his wife never knew the adventure that had happened during the night. And from that point on, the farmer and wife lived a simple, peaceful, and happy life.
    After reading the story, review the students work. How many students found all 11 nouns?

    Next, have students write on the back of the fable page (or on a separate sheet of paper, so you can use the fable work sheets again) the plural form of each of the nouns they circled.

    Assessment

    Did students correctly spell all 11 plurals? The plurals are wives, loaves, shelves, knives, halves, calves, thieves, leaves, elves, wolves, and lives.

    As an added assessment, or as reinforcement for students who might not master the skill, you might give students a quiz such as this Singular/Plural Nouns Ending in f, fe, ff Quiz, this interactive Making Plurals from Singular Nouns Ending in f or fe /I> activity, these Plurals of Words ending in f, ff, and fe puzzles, or this Plurals: Words Ending in f or fe work sheet.

    Submitted By

    Linda York, Wateree Elementary in Lugoff, South Carolina

    Education World®
    Copyright © 2006 Education World

    11/09/2006



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