Friday, March 23, 2012

Adjective Detective [Hunt & Seek]

After playing the nouns, verbs, adjectives board game I made with my son several times, I realized he needed other great ways to practice the parts of speech. Language arts just doesn’t “stick” with my son like math.

He has suddenly developed an affinity for mysteries (we’ve been reading the Hardy Boys Secret Files books to him at night and he’s been reading James Skofield’s Detective Dinosaur books to us). The following two activities capitalize on his newfound interest.

Download this Adjective Detective magnifying glass here.

I designed a magnifying glass for my son to use when he played. (To make one, simply cut it out [including the center] and laminate with heavyweight laminate.) Voila! Now he had a spy glass to remind him of what adjectives tell you (e.g. weather, sound, shapes, etc.).

Adjective Detective Hunt
Before my son came home from school, I picked out five objects to describe and wrote adjectives (five each) that describe each on a sticky note. When he walked in the door, I told him that he (aka Adjective Detective) had a mystery to solve.

He needed to use the adjective clues on the first sticky note (black, white, round, hard, fun) to find the object it described (his soccer ball). On that object was tacked another sticky note with five more adjectives (white, creamy, refreshing, smooth, cool). He used his super sleuthing mind to deduce that what those adjectives were describing was none other than milk! There he found another sticky note with five adjectives.

One by one, the adjective clues led him from object to object, until he was rewarded by finding the final object (his colored pencils), which also had a congratulatory note and a sweet treat as a reward.

Adjective Detective Seek
Another day, I decided that it was time for my son to find some adjectives of his own. I gave my little Adjective Detective a story that I wrote. Each sentence of the story has one adjective (hopefully, I tried to be careful to not include any others). 

Download this story here.

The story is about Detective Dog who works so hard to welcome new teddy bears to the force by bringing in assorted foods each day. Unfortunately, the bears never touch his homemade goodies.

After my son read the story all the way through (I helped him with some of the tough words), I told him that in order to find out why the teddy bears never eat, he’d have to find the adjective in each sentence. He circled it and wrote the first letter of the adjective down below. All of these adjectives (and their letters) were clues to solve the mystery.

So, why do the teddy bears never eat, you’re wondering, right? Because they are always stuffed!!

My son demonstrated some real patience with this activity, carefully looking for the adjectives and being excited as the answer to the mystery began to reveal itself. It was a lot of reading but I was so encouraged to hear him say “Yes, I knew it!” when he correctly identified the adjectives!


  1. My boys would like this theme!

  2. Great idea! Thanks for sharing the download to your story. My son also loves mysteries! When he was 3, he created his own super hero called "Super Finder" he named me "Question Girl".

    1. That's a pretty awesome alter ego, Keitha ... um, I mean, Question Girl! Your son sounds like he's brimming over with creativity and imagination. I love that you're fostering it!

  3. So much fun! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'd like to invite you to share this with our readers for Fun Stuff Friday @Toys In The Dryer

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this on our Afterschool Party. I've already printed it out and saved it for this week after school. We've been working on adding adjectives to our writing and this is a great way of learning about them.

  6. "Because they are always stuffed!"...LOVE IT! You are so talented creating all of these educational activities. My first grader has year round school and is off track the next couple weeks so I'm getting ready to print it off and try it with him. :)

  7. You can tell that this activity really caught his interest! Love the explanation for the teddy bears never eating, too :)

    Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  8. Such a fantastic idea! thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land...hope to see you again sometime!

  9. Awesome idea!!! Thanks for sharing. I will be trying this with my kids for sure!!!

  10. You are so creative with ideas for your son. This is such a fantastic game that can be adapted to other subjects as well.

  11. Do you know, my kids fell in love with "Detective Glasses" and "Hunting Goggles" when they were 2?! I love how you use such high-interest ways to teach your son--thanks for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday! I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  12. This is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing. :) Perfect for my 2nd graders. :)