Grade Levels: K-3

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about subject and verb agreement. It is designed to complement the Subject and Verb Agreement topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Help children develop their writing and proofreading skills. This movie will explore subject and verb agreement, specifically in sentences using the present tense. You may want to screen the Verbs movie as a review before beginning this topic. For further exploration, we highly recommend screening the Tenses movie.

Review with children that a subject is the person, place, thing, or idea that a sentence or a piece of writing is about. You may want to write a sentence on the board such as, “I find a lost cat” or “Annie and Moby walk their dog” and have volunteers identify the subject or subjects in each. Explain that a subject can be singular and name one thing, or can be plural and name more than one thing.

Remind children that a verb is a word that describes an action. Write a sentence on the board such as, “They find a dollar” or “He bakes a pie.” Have volunteers identify the verb in each sentence. Then write a sentence using the same verb but with singular and plural subjects, such as “He picks apples” and “They pick apples.” How are the verbs alike and different? Explain to children that singular subjects are used with singular verbs and plural subjects are used with plural verbs.

Write sentences that contain singular subjects and singular verbs. For example, you may want to write the sentence, “The girl listens to music.” Have children identify the subject and verb. Point out the s at the end of the verb. Explain to children that when a subject is singular, we usually add an s or e-s to the end of the verb to make it singular, when working in the present tense. Note that this is a general rule and there are some exceptions. Also note that if a verb ends in y, sometimes we use -i-e-s to make it singular. Write different sentences together, such as “He misses the bus” or “Moby flies a kite,” pointing out the singular subject and singular verb in each. Then explain that when the subject is “I” or “you,” we do NOT add an s or e-s. Write examples on the board, such as “I write a letter” or “You sit down.” Then have individuals or pairs write a short paragraph using what they have learned about singular subjects and verbs.

Explain to children that plural subjects get plural verbs. Write examples on the board, such as “The students play on the field” or “The dogs bark at the cat.” Have students identify the plural subjects, and point out how the verbs do not have an s or e-s at the end. Write sentences together and have pairs of students identify subjects and verbs in each.

Emphasize the importance of checking over work and proofreading. If children are not sure a subject and verb agree, they can real the sentence out loud quietly and listen. They can also swap their work with a friend and proofread. Encourage children to develop their writing and editing skills!