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A d ve r b s
Background
An adverb is a word that modifies, or tells more about, a verb, an adjective,
or another adverb. When an adverb modifies a verb, it can tell how (She
plays loudly), when (She plays early), where (She plays outside), or to what
extent (Her head hurt tremendously.). When an adverb modifies an adjective
or another adverb, it often tells how or how much (The noise was quite
horrendous; She plays very loudly). It is a common misconception that all
adverbs end in –ly. Although many do (proudly, enthusiastically, totally),
many others do not (today, inside, never). Adverbs can be a tricky concept:
the only surefire way to tell if a word is an adverb is to figure out which part
of speech it modifies in a sentence. Reading Tillie’s Tuba will give students
concrete practice in recognizing—and using—adverbs.
Before Reading
•Introduce the concept by asking students to name some of their favorite sports
or activities. Write their responses on the board in noun-verb sentence form
(Carlos runs). Then ask students to describe how they do their activity. Add
an appropriate adverb to each sentence (Carlos runs fast). Explain that an
adverb can tell more about a verb by describing how the action is done. After discussing a
few examples, tell students that adverbs can also tell where and when something is done:
Carlos runs outdoors; Carlos ran yesterday. Point out that an adverb can also tell how much:
Carlos runs often.
•Then write a few examples of sentences in which the adverb modifies an adjective or another
adverb. For instance: Carlos was extremely happy when he won the race; Carlos runs very
quickly. Explain that a word is an adverb if it modifies, or tells more about, a verb, an
adjective, or another adverb.
•Next, show students the cover of Tillie’s Tuba and invite them to make predictions: how do
they think Tillie will play her tuba? When, where, and how often will she play it? List students’
suggestions on the board. Later, check to see how many of their adverbs appeared in the story.
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During Reading
After reading the story once through for meaning, you can reinforce a variety of concepts in
subsequent readings.
•Invite students to raise their hands each time they hear an adverb.
•Help students distinguish the different kinds of information adverbs can provide by having
them raise their hands only when they hear an adverb that answers the question How? Then
have them do the same for where and when.
•Reinforce the idea that not all adverbs have the –ly ending. Have students clap their
hands for each adverb they hear that does not end in –ly.
After Reading
In addition to the group overhead lesson and mini-book practice activities, try the following
extensions to help reinforce students’ learning.
•Help students learn more about how adverbs modify with a fun twist on a charades game.
Have each student write one verb (such as sing) and one adverb (such as softly) on separate
index cards. When students are finished, collect the verb cards and place them in a bag.
Place all the adverb cards in a separate bag. Then invite a child to choose one card from each
bag. First, the student acts out the verb alone by pantomiming the action. Once the group
has guessed the correct verb, the student then adds the adverb to the pantomime by doing
the action in the appropriate manner. Students may find themselves acting out some very
silly combinations! Once the group has guessed the correct verb and adverb (or appropriate
synonyms), invite a new volunteer to perform the next pantomime.
•News reports are perfect for practicing adverbs because they naturally answer the questions
When? Where? How? and To What Extent? Divide the class into small groups and assign each
an event to report on, such as a fire or a town parade. Challenge groups to write a news
article using adverbs to answer each journalistic question. You might invite group members
to take turns reading their stories aloud in a “live broadcast.”
To Extend Learning
Use the activity on the next page to reinforce and extend the concepts students have learned. You
can turn this into a collaborative class activity by using the page on an overhead projector, or
make multiple copies for students to work on individually.
•Read the directions at the top of the sheet. Help students distinguish
between adverbs that tell how, when, where, and to what extent as you invite
volunteers to mark up each sentence as indicated.
•For the second set of sentences, help students identify the word being modified
by each adverb. You might also challenge them to name the part of speech.
•Then challenge students to turn adjectives into adverbs by rewriting the
sentences at the bottom of the sheet.
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Adverb Adventures
Adverbs
An adverb is a word that modifies, or tells more about, a verb, an adjective, or
another adverb. An adverb can tell you how, when, where, or to what extent.
Find the adverbs in the sentences below.
•
•
•
•
Underline the adverbs that tell you how.
Circle the adverbs that tell you when.
Draw a box around the adverbs that tell you where.
Draw two lines under the adverbs that tell you to what extent.
❶ Tillie plays her tuba very loudly.
❷ Yesterday, she took her tuba outside and performed enthusiastically
for the birds.
❸ But the birds found the noise really annoying, so they asked her to
kindly cut it out.
❹ Tillie was extremely insulted and tearfully put her tuba away.
Read the sentences below. Circle the word that the underlined
adverb modifies.
❺ “I’ll play a concert for my goldfish!” Tillie thought excitedly.
❻ But the goldfish thought the concert was completely awful.
❼ “The violin might be far less annoying,” he suggested.
Read the sentences below. Rewrite each sentence so it contains at least
one adverb. Write your new sentence on the line.
❽ Tillie played her tuba with pride.
Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 45
_________________________________________________________________________
❾ She practiced on it without end.
_________________________________________________________________________
❿ But she was happy to switch to the violin.
_________________________________________________________________________
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Adverbs
Tillie’s Tuba
BY M ARIA F LEMING
I LLUSTRATED BY D OUG J ONES
Write
a sentence about yourself
describing something you do and how
you do it. Use your name, a verb, and an
adverb—and make sure all three start
with the same letter. For instance: Susan
sings softly. William walks willingly. Try
writing sentences about your friends, too.
How’s That? Can you find the 14 adverbs in this
paragraph? Underline each adverb you see. Then find the
adverbs in the word search puzzle. Answers can go
across, down, or on a diagonal.
Do your neighbors complain constantly
about your music practice? Do your friends
run away when they see you open your tuba
case? Or are you simply tired of playing the
tuba terribly? If you’re practicing endlessly
but getting nowhere, don’t despair—call
Tuba Tutors today! Our professional music
teachers will patiently guide you on your
way to becoming a terrific tuba player. With
our help, you can soon be marching proudly
Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 47
with the band or sweetly serenading your
family to sleep. Don’t delay—if you act now,
we’ll give you a brand new set of earplugs
absolutely free! (Practice makes perfect,
This book has a lot of
adverbs in it. Do you
know what an adverb is?
Share your ideas.
Tillie has a tuba.
She plays her tuba proudly.
but it should never be painful!)
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Scholastic grants teachers permission to reprint this book for educational purposes.
Copyright © 2004 by Scholastic. All rights reserved.
Printed in the U.S.A.
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She plays enthusiastically.
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 48
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Adverbs Attack! This puzzle is full of opposing adverbs.
Complete each clue with the opposite of the underlined adverb.
Then write your answers in the crossword puzzle. Hint: The
missing word in each across clue appears in a down clue. You
can match up pairs of clues to help solve the puzzle. Every
underlined word appears once in the grid.
Across
2. The opposite of early is ________________.
6. The opposite of slowly is ________________.
7. The opposite of never is ________________.
9. The opposite of outside is ________________.
11. The opposite of far is ________________.
12. The opposite of here is ________________.
Down
1. The opposite of near is ________________.
3. The opposite of late is ________________.
4. The opposite of quickly is ________________.
An adverb is a part of speech
that modifies (tells you more
about) a verb, adjective, or
another adverb. Some adverbs
tell you how something is done.
5. The opposite of inside is ________________.
8. The opposite of always is ________________.
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10. The opposite of there is ________________.
Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 49
Now she plays the violin!
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She plays her tuba LOUDLY.
Grammar Tales Teaching Guide © Scholastic Teaching Resources
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She plays early. She plays late.
It fills her with delight.
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5
Let’s Review:
Adverbs
An adverb is a word that modifies—
or tells you more about—a verb, an
adjective, or another adverb.
★ When an adverb modifies a verb, it can tell you how
something is done (She plays loudly), when something
is done (She plays early), or where something is done
(She plays outside). An adverb can also answer the
question “To what extent?” (Her head hurt
tremendously.)
★ When an adverb modifies an adjective or another
adverb, it often tells you how or how much (The noise
was quite horrendous. She plays very loudly).
★ Although many adverbs end in -ly (proudly,
enthusiastically, totally ), it’s important to remember that
many do not. Words like today, inside, and never are
all adverbs, too.
Some adverbs tell
you when something
is done.
★ The best way to tell if a word is an adverb is to figure
out which word it modifies in a sentence. Ask yourself:
Does this word tell me more about a verb, an adjective,
or another adverb? If the answer is yes, it’s an adverb!
Tillie loves her tuba.
She plays it day and night.
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She plays anywhere and everywhere—
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide © Scholastic Teaching Resources
Tillie kept her promise,
but her family just can’t win.
Today she sold her tuba.
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 50
4
This sentence is bursting with adverbs!
Try writing a sentence that has as many
(or more!) adverbs in it.
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Tearfully, poor Tillie
put away her tuba, then
vowed absolutely, positively
to never play again.
Some adverbs tell you
where something is done.
at home, at school, in town.
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 51
Adverbs can also
answer the question
“To what extent ?”
Finally, Tillie’s family said,
“Kindly take a break.
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide © Scholastic Teaching Resources
Tillie thinks her tuba sounds
totally stupendous.
But her friends and family all agree
the noise is quite horrendous.
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She plays inside. She plays outside,
marching up and down.
Our heads all hurt tremendously.
Our ears completely ache.”
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What parts of speech do the
adverbs on these pages modify?
(Hint: Adverbs can modify verbs,
adjectives, or other adverbs.)
When people see her coming,
they quickly run away.
It’s really much too painful
to listen to her play.
F
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide Page 52
8
How to Assemble the Mini-Books
1
Make double-sided
copies of the mini-book
pages. You should have
three double-sided
copies for each book.
F
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D
C
B
A
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Cut the pages in
half along the
dotted line.
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Position the pages with the lettered spreads
(A, B, C, D, E, F) face up. Place the B spread
on top of the A spread. Then, place the C, D,
E, and F spreads on top of those in sequence.
4
Fold the pages in half along the
solid line. Make sure all the
pages are in the correct order.
Then staple them together
along the book’s spine.
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Grammar Tales Teaching Guide © Scholastic Teaching Resources
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Adverbs: Tillie’s Tuba
Adverb Adventure (Overhead, page 45)
Possible answer:
Tillie played her tuba proudly.
Possible answer:
Possible answer:
She practiced on it endlessly.
But she happily switched to the violin.
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Adverbs Attack!
(Mini-Book, page 18)
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How’s That?
(Mini-Book, page 20)
constantly; away;
simply; terribly;
endlessly; nowhere;
today; patiently; soon;
proudly; sweetly; now;
absolutely; never
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