Figure out the Plurals Literacy Game

For the “O” and “P” week story time I wanted the kids to figure out the plurals of certain animals. So I would have a picture of an animal and the kids would shout out what it was. Then I would show multiple of the animals and the kids would have to figure out what multiple were called. Of course most of this game was “tricky” in that the kids didn’t just put an “s” on the end of the words.


The zebra/zebras was pretty easy.


As was the shark/sharks round.


When we got to the butterfly/butterflies we talked about how the sound was just an “s” but the ending had an “ies” to replace the “y”.


Then I got tricky. About half of the kids (that shouted out the answers) knew that the plural of mouse was mice.


The parents and I had to help with the goose/geese one.


Due to time I ended up not doing the ox/oxen one…although thanks to a popular children’s song in Utah I think they would have known this odd one (Here Comes the Ox Cart, Oh How Slow…).


Then I threw in another trick. They all knew a hippo (I made them then say hippopotamus). But they didn’t know hippopotami at all. They just wanted to say hippos. And I will say that I learned that there are a couple of ways to say a plural of a hippopotamus and an octopus. But I just picked my favorite to talk about then mentioned that some of these have more than one right answer.

hippopotami text

And I wanted to make sure I remembered everything as well…so I put the text on the back of the pictures. And I did show the kids the text and run my finger along it as I sounded it out. They thought the word “hippopotami” was quite silly.


With the octopus/octopuses one of the kids yelled out that these were squid. So, perhaps sometime in the future I should do something that showcases the difference between an octopus and a squid…but obviously not today.

octopuses text

And this is just to show how I really did have the text on the back of everything (even the single animal pictures).


This one was the most tricky of all. Mostly I just told them about this one. I had learned in researching these that one jellyfish is called a jellyfish.

jellyfish text

Multiple jellyfish of the same species are called jellyfish. (That is the picture that is turned over.)

jellyfishes text

Multiple jellyfish that are of different species are “jellyfishes”. Isn’t that crazy? I had no idea. And neither did the kids or the parents. But it was fun to mostly just tell them all this one. I then challenged them all to go home and talk about plurals for the next week.

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