Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Adjective Toad

Kristen Bryant


TOAD by Ruth Brown is a great way to illustrate the proper use of adjectives in written language. Students make a class book utilizing a story pattern and knowledge gained through the book TOAD.


The student uses parts of speech correctly in written word (including but not limited to verb tenses, plurals of common irregular nouns, comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs).


-TOAD by Ruth Brown, Scholastic INC. New York, New York, 1996.
-White Copy Paper
-12x18 Construction paper
-Chart Paper
-Book Binding Materials (Yarn and string, plastic binding rings and a book binding machine, stapler and staples are some examples of ways to bind books.)


1. Read and have the book, TOAD, by Ruth Brown

2. Have chart paper and markers to create class story.

3. Have one piece of 12x18 construction paper for each student.

4. Have one piece of white piece of copy paper for each student.

5. Establish a separate area to work one-on-one with students.

6. Bind the book before continuing the lesson. This can be done by 3 hole punching the construction paper and lace/tie with a decorative ribbon or string. If your school has a book binding machine you can use the plastic binding rings, or you can use a metal ring clasp and bind all the pages together at one corner. You students will read and re-read this book over and over again, so it is important to make sure the book is securely bound together.


This activity addresses the portion of the standard containing adjectives. Here we are introducing the concepts of adjectives.

1. Read the book TOAD

2. Tell the students you are going to re-read the story a little differently and you want them to listen for any changes to the story.

3. Re-read the book omitting ALL adjectives.

4. Probe students through questioning about what changed in the story.

5. Ask students to list words that were omitted during the second reading of the story Toad. Record all responses on chart paper or chalkboard.

6. Ask students to describe what kind of words they have listed.

7. After the students have responded, introduce the word adjective. Reinforce the concept and definition of an adjective.

8. Ask students why the author chooses to use adjectives. How would books and stories change if adjectives were not used in writing? Can you think of any other adjectives?

9. Record answers on chart paper.

This is a good stopping place if you want to divide this lesson into separate days.

Collaborative Book

1. Re-read the book TOAD.

2. Tell the students that they are going to create a class book similar to the book TOAD.

3. Ask students what kind of words we should include in our book. (Guide the discussion toward the use of adjectives.)

4. Have the class choose one subject about which to write. (I have found that choosing another animal works well.)

5. Orally the class and the teacher will create the book together. Each student will create his/her own sentence to develop the class story. The sentence should contain adjectives that describe the subject.

6. It is important for the teacher to guide the story along for correct sequencing of events. If a student is having difficulty writing his/her own sentence allow for assistance from others or yourself . The story should model the pattern of TOAD.

7. Record the story, in order, on chart paper as the students dictate.

8. Label each sentence with the author's name. (This will help to avoid confusion when the students begin to illustrate their sentences.)

9. Have students copy their sentences onto scratch paper.

10. Hand out one piece of white copy paper to each student.

11. Students accurately illustrate their sentences. No words should be included on the sheet.

12. Students glue their pictures onto 12x18 construction paper.

13. When all illustrations are completed bind the book. This is a good time to stop if needed.

Oral assessment and reading of the final book:

1. Call each student individually to dictate his/her sentence, while you record it onto the page of the book.

2. After writing the sentence, have the student point to each adjective in his/her sentence.

3. The teacher or student underlines each correct adjective.

4. After all sentences are recorded and students are orally evaluated, read the class book aloud to your students. Students should listen for adjectives and touch their nose when they hear an adjective.

5. Place the book in your classroom library for student enjoyment.


Formative assessment occurs as:
The student uses adjectives correctly in a written sentence.
-Student composes a sentence for the collaborative book containing adjectives to describe the subject.

The student will be able to identify adjectives from the written sentence.
-Student orally identifies the adjectives from their sentence in the class collaborative book.

The student will demonstrate knowledge of adjectives through the illustrations of a written sentence.
-Student draws a picture that accurately represents the sentence.
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