This English lesson helps student learn how to write better sentences by using appositives.
The lesson has three parts.
- an explanation of appositives with practice exercises
- an appositive lesson in a pdf
- a reflective writing exercise with a video prompt that encourages the use of appositives
What’s an appositive?
An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that tells us more about another nearby noun. It looks like a relative clause but there are no words like ‘which, who or that’. Here is an example:
- Sparky, my first cat, loved to catch mice. (The appositive is my first cat.)
Why use an appositive in your writing?
- It is an easy way to add details.
- It can change choppy sentences into nice sentences.
TWO KINDS OF APPOSITIVES
Must stay in the sentence because it gives meaning. For example:
- Have you read the novel War and Peace?
- Have you read the novel? (x)
If we take out the appositive – War and Peace – we wouldn’t know which book the speaker was talking about.
Not necessary. These appositives are surrounded by commas. Here is an example:
- My cousin, a teacher, is coming to South Korea.
- My cousin is coming to South Korea. (ok)
Read these sentences. What is the appositive? Is it important or optional?
- Jack, my sister’s old dog, loves to chew on slippers.
- A city on the south coast, Busan is famous for green mountains, raw fish and pretty sunsets.
- Jack, my brother, is having a party next week.
- The singing group FT Island will be performing this summer in Busan.
- Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, is also called the Red Planet.
- The movie Interstellar was showing at the theater last night.
Rewrite these sentences by combining them with an appositive.
- My aunt lost her favorite ring. It was a gift from her sister.
- The Han River flows through Seoul. It is South Korea’s second longest river.
- The first man in space was from Russia. He was Yuri Gagarin.
- I sat beside Mr. Black. Mr. Black is a local prosecutor.
- Janet’s dog sat under a tree and panted. Her dog is a mutt.
- Dr. Jones loves to bake bread. He is a prize-winning baker.
- Mexico City is the biggest city in the world. Mexico City has many interesting places to visit.
EVEN MORE PRACTICE
Read the text. Rewrite the text with appositives.
- Pepper spray is a weapon that can easily irritate the eyes and result in temporary blindness. Pepper spray is an organic material that comes from cayenne pepper. The spray normally comes in a can, which is often small enough to be carried in a pocket.
Suggested answers are on the pdf worksheet. Click here to get the full lesson plan as a pdf file (easy to print) as well as the answers.
REFLECTIVE WRITING EXERCISE
This is a multi-skill activity is based on a short video prompt.
- Preview the comprehension questions before watching the video.
- Watch and listen to the video twice.
- Check comprehension answers.
Students write a two piece report:
- summarize main idea in a paragraph
- add appositive when describing the people, things and places
- add another paragraph that reflects on the topic and describes if the message is also true in their own lives
Key writing objectives:
- describe the main idea with clarity,
- write a descriptive summary with vivid details
- practice writing appositives
Teach Essential Writing Skills
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Teach Essential Writing Skills is jammed pack with useful and practical lesson ideas for the ESL writing class. Click the book image to learn more.