Comparatives and Superlatives - Language conventions practice for Naplan test

In the Language conventions section of the Naplan tests, there are several multiple choice questions where students have to choose the sentence that is grammatically correct, or the word that would complete the sentence to make it grammatically correct.  Some of these questions in both the Year 3 and Year 5 test include choosing the correct adjective form, both comparatives and superlatives.

For example (from a year 5 test):

Which sentence is correct?

  1. Some people like cats best than dogs.
  2. Some people like cats better than dogs.
  3. Some people like cats more best than dogs.
  4. Some people like cats more better than dogs.
(Number 2 is correct.)

For younger kids, or those who need a refresher as to how to form comparatives and superlatives, there's a really helpful little video I found here called "The Adjective Detective"

To have some practice using comparatives and superlatives for our girls I played this game with them:

1. Brainstorm 10 adjectives each, so for example:

big, red, good, happy, fast, tall, small, clever, great, slow

2.  Write the comparative and superlative for each adjective:

big       bigger     biggest
red      redder     reddest
good     better     best....... etc

3. Make real sentences using each word they had written, and using objects they could find or talking about people or places they knew.

So for example for the first line, they looked through their stationery supplies and came up with:

This pencil is not very big, but this one is bigger, and this pencil is the biggest of all.

Or :

I am clever, my dad is cleverer than me, but my mum is the cleverest person in our family!

(Ok, so I made that one up myself - but you get the general idea!:) )

I also got them to write down some sentences - and then check each other's work for mistakes (since a lot of the questions on the Naplan test are finding and correcting the mistakes - particularly spelling, and don't siblings just love to correct each other!)

I also found a neat basketball game that practices comparatives and superlatives. You can choose a 1, 2 or 3 point question, and if you choose the correct answer you shoot a basket and gain the points. Choose the wrong answer and your ball will miss the hoop.

Something else I'll encourage the girls to play to practice comparing is Top Trumps.  This is a great card game that the girls have a few different versions of, that is great for practising number skills but also for comparing - as the card with the fastest, largest, biggest, heaviest etc of something wins!  If you want to learn more about Top Trumps you can read about it here.

The above book, The New First Aid in English, is one that I bought to help our girls with English practice. I myself had a copy as a kid and used to love it. Our girls love it too, and it's full of useful information and practice exercises and tests. Definitely a book I would recommend for primary school kids upwards. It's a great book to learn from now and also a good reference book to keep for years to come.

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