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How to Make Plural Nouns: A FREE Morphology Lesson

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Nov 27, 2023




Morphology is a powerful tool for teaching older students both decoding longer words and understanding new vocabulary words. We use suffixes to make plural nouns. The shortest suffix for making a plural noun is the letter s. Adding the suffix -s to a noun tells the readers that there is more than one of the noun. We can also use the suffix -es to make plural nouns. In fact, this lesson dives into all of the ways we can make plural nouns, including irregular spellings. (Note: some rules that students will learn in middle and high school are grouped within the irregular spellings.)

puppies as an example of a plural noun

In this lesson, you will teach students many things.

  1. suffixes come at the end of words

  2. suffixes change the meaning of a word

  3. suffixes are not words, but they are units of meaning

  4. we use the suffixes -s and -es to show that a noun is plural

  5. sometimes we have to change the spelling at the end of the base word to make the noun plural

  6. some nouns are irregular, and we use a different spelling to show that they are plural

It is helpful for students to know the parts of speech as they work on morphology. If your students need to work on parts of speech, I highly recommend this writing program. It teaches writing complete sentences based on parts of speech. If you need to, you can even use these two programs at the same time.

writing complete sentences

Teaching Plural Nouns

To teach your students about plural nouns, display the presentation below. You can access the presentation from this website for free. You can also purchase the slideshow for use at school.

This lesson teaches the function of the suffix, but it focuses on spelling because there are so many spelling rules for plural nouns. At the beginning of each lesson, you will share the slide with the basic information and the chart that shows the different spelling patterns. Then, students will practice the spelling patterns using this routine:

  1. You display a singular noun from the presentation.

  2. Students write the plural version of the noun in their writing notebooks or on a whiteboard.

  3. You display the plural noun from the presentation (the next slide).

  4. Students check their work and get immediate feedback.

This is a spiral review lesson. Each day, you will teach students one spelling pattern for plural nouns. Students will practice that pattern and review any past patterns. The complete lesson will take ten days. You also get mixed review for practice later in the year to keep your students fresh.

Check out this list of words with the suffix. You can use this list to build your own activities for your classroom. You can also get a printable .pdf.

plural nouns word list

More Morphology Practice

Do you love this lesson? You can access all of the morphology lessons for FREE on this website! You can also purchase the presentations!

Base Words

The Suffixes -S and -ES

The Suffix -ING

The Suffix -ER for Comparative Adjectives

The Suffix -EST for Superlative Adjectives

The Suffix -ER for Someone Who

The Suffix -ED for Past Tense Verbs



The Prefix DIS- 


The Prefix IN- Meaning Not

The Suffix -FUL Meaning Full Of

The Suffix -LESS Meaning Without

The Suffix -Y Meaning What Something is Like

The Suffix -LY Meaning How an Action is Done

The Prefix UNDER

The Prefix OVER

The Prefix NON

The Prefix PRE

The Prefixes BI/DI

The Prefix TRI

The Prefix QUAD

The Prefix OCT



The Prefix SEMI

The Prefix SUPER

The Prefix MULTI

The Prefix POLY

The Prefix TELE

The Prefix MID

The Prefix MIS

The Prefix INTER

The Prefix DECA/DECI

The Prefix KILO

The Prefix SUB

The Prefix MILLI/MILLE  

plural nouns

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Nov 27, 2023




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