Show What You Know

Today was assessment day…on the subjunctive, that is.

After a two-song individual review, we had a brief whole-class review.  Thereafter, the students completed the quiz linked below on the use of the subjunctive mood.

Subjunctive Formative Assessment

While others finished up their quizzes, the students who finished early had the opportunity to work on a subjunctive board game quietly.  Other students opted to use the in-class computers to finish their KidBlog posts.  Once everyone finished, we had a quick, on the floor discussion about our previous experiences with poetry.  We formed an oval in the center of the room and passed around the Sphere of Knowledge to take turns sharing.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Study for the Lesson 10 Vocabulary Quiz on Friday.
  • CompleteKidBlog posts:
    • Input your “If I Were President” speech onto KidBlog.  This is due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, January 30th, 2015.
    • Respond to at least 2 other classmate’s “Dear Dr. King” posts.  Try to respond where no previous responses were made. This is also due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, January 30th, 2015.


Moody Subjunctives

If I were a boy…”

If I were a rich man…”

If I should stay/I would only be in your way…”

As these lyrics caressed our ears over the past few decades, few of us realized that these were examples of English grammar in its proper usage.  Naturally, they then became a part of today’s lesson.

The students walked into class while I played the late Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You.”  They then worked on their Warm Up activity while listening to Beyoncé’s rendition of “If I Were A Boy” and “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani (this song used the melody of “If I Were A Rich Man” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof“).

Once the lesson was in full swing, we reviewed the subjunctive mood again and expanded that to include all three verb moods: indicative, imperative, and subjunctive.  I also provided them with the flow chart below to help them discern what sentences utilized which moods.

Verb Mood Cheat Sheet

We then reviewed examples of the subjunctive mood interspersed with videos of alternate versions of the songs above to illustrate the use of the subjunctive in context of songs as additional examples of modern literature.

If I Were A Boy-Reba
Though listeners of Pop and R & B music would attribute the song “If I Were A Boy” to Beyonce’ Knowles, it was actually written and originally recorded by BC Jean at the same time Beyonce’ recorded it. Reba McIntyre then recorded her own version of the song in 2010.
Dolly Parton
“I Will Always Love You” was a hit for legendary Country artist Dolly Parton almost two decades before Whitney Houston recorded her hit version for “The Bodyguard” soundtrack.
If I Were A Rich Man
In “If I Were A Rich Man,” protagonist Tevye sings in conversation with God about what he would do if he had been blessed with riches in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”




  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Study for subjunctive assessment.
  • Study for Friday’s vocabulary quiz
  • Input your “If I Were President” speech onto KidBlog.
  • Respond to the “Dear Dr. King” posts of at least 2 other classmates.  Try to respond where no previous responses were made.


The Subjunctive: Day 2

The fun of learning about the subjunctive mood is that it is quite confusing, frustrating, and part of our standards.  That said, today, the students took a quick quiz solely for the purpose of seeing how much they understood from yesterday’s class.  They then had the opportunity to work on more practice with the subjunctive.  Since grammar is a tricky beast, I have included some additional practice and resources to help with understanding the subjunctive mood, when to use it, and how to implement it in a sentence.

Tomorrow will be another day of answering questions, applying what we have learned, and of trying to tackle this beast called the subjunctive.


  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Input “If I Were President” speech into KidBlog
  • Respond to at least two of your classmates’ “Dear Dr. King” letters on KidBlog


The Subjunctive Mood

When I was in school, I remember learning about the different verb forms and tenses in my foreign language classes and marveling at the large variety of them, thinking “thank goodness there aren’t this many in English.”  This was before I went deeper into my studies of English and realized how wrong I was.

As a result of this experience, my students and I, thanks to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, explored the subjunctive mood.

Subjunctive mood

In English, the subjunctive mood is used to explore conditional or imaginary situations. It can be tricky to use, which partially explains why many speakers and writers forego it. But it’s quite useful (and aesthetically pleasing, at least to us), and careful users of English should do their part to preserve it.

Source: Grammarist

The subjunctive is used in English to express a command, desire, hypothesis, purpose, doubt, or supposition.


  • I wish he were here.
  • If I were in Boston right now, I would be preparing for a blizzard.

The students took notes on this concept and we worked through the example sentences as well.  Each student received a handout with more notes, examples, and exercises in order to practice what they had learned.  If the students did not finish their handout, they were to complete it for homework tonight.

Below are resources for further practice and explanations of the subjunctive mood: