Spelling singular and plural nouns


Building word recognition and spelling skills through the exploration of general rules:

Nouns Plural Examples
Most nouns add s book, books; cup, cups; sprout, sprouts
Most nouns that end in ch, sh, s, x, or z add es box, boxes; bus, buses; prize, prizes
Most nouns that end in a vowel and y add s boy, boys; day, days; key, keys
Most nouns that end in a consonant and y y becomes ies baby, babies; country, countries; spy, spies
Most nouns that end in f for fe f or fe becomes ves elf, elves; loaf, loaves; thief, thieves
Most nouns that end in o add s kangaroo, kangaroos; piano, pianos; video, videos
Certain nouns that end in a consonant and o add es heroes; potato, potatoes; volcano, volcanoes

Nouns change a vowel sound when they become plural. Examples how some nouns do not change at all when they become plural. Examples of nouns that have plural forms that are left from Old English.


Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1

Use or create your own visual display to explain the above rules.

Spelling plurals (PPT 667.5KB)

Activity 2

Use of create your visual displays - irregular plural nouns

Spelling irregular plurals (PPT 551KB)

Bot activity 1 and activity 2 PowerPoints sourced from www.primaryresources.co.uk

Activity 3

Provide proof reading/editing activities using authentic texts or students’ own texts. Students can refer to visual displays to check for incorrectly spelt plurals and then proceed to correct the text themselves with a red marker. For example:

The Evacuation

Can you spot the 10 mistakes?

The children from Islington were all sitting on the train, clutching their cases and gas masks. The younger ones were crying like babys, but others felt they were off on their holidaies. They took off their coats and scarfs and waited for the whistle to blow. They knew their lifes were about to change forever.

The train began to move. Citys flashed by, soon followed by the green countryside of village churchs, hills and valleys.

The boy's and girls ate their lunchs, and before long the train was slowing down at a platform. At long last they were there! Smart looking ladys and a few official looking gentlemen were waiting to meet them and take them to their new homes. What storys they would have to tell in their letters home.

Online resources

Singular and plural nouns


Australian curriculum

Recognise uncommon plurals, for example ‘foci’.

NSW syllabus

EN3-4A: Draws on appropriate strategies to accurately spell familiar and unfamiliar words when composing texts.

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