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Effect and Qualitative Adjectives - Lesson Plan


This lesson will help students with the common problem of using qualitative adjectives (i.e. -ing: exciting, boring, relaxing, etc.) and effect adjectives (i.e. -ed: amused, bored, shocked, etc.). The lesson takes any authentic text you may choose as its starting point. Students read the text, identify adjectives by answering questions helping them become aware of the basic differences between these two confusingly similar adjective types.

Aim: Help students recognize and use -ing vs. -ed adjectives

Activity: Start-off reading followed by group work

Level: Low - intermediate to intermediate


  • Choose a target authentic text that will interest your group. If possible, use the Internet to find something that will really hold the groups' attention.
  • Create relevant questions for the text such as:

    • Who is amused?
    • What did John find boring?
    • What was John embarrassed by?
    • What did John find embarrassing?
    • Etc.

  • Have students read the text individually and then look up unknown words in pairs.
  • Students should then answer the series of questions based on the text in pairs.
  • Once students have answered the questions in pairs, ask students to get together in larger groups (4 to 6).
  • Have students correct the questions together as a group.
  • Once the questions have been answered to the satisfaction of the members of the group, students should then inductively answer the following questions based on the text and comprehension exercise.

    • What is an adjective?
    • Which adjectives in the text are used to express a quality?
    • Which adjectives are used to describe how people feel about something or someone?
    • Which word form clues help you recognize these two different types of adjectives?

  • Move about the room helping students with these questions by giving examples such as: That movie was so exciting (i.e. the quality something has), or "I was so bored at the meeting." (i.e. how someone felt about something).
  • Discuss the results together as a class.

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