Teaching Students about Double Negatives

Teaching Students about Double Negatives from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

People frequently use double negatives in song lyrics and informal speech. Due to this, many students have a difficult time realizing that double negatives are incorrect grammar.

Take advantage of students’ love for music and teach double negative rules using song lyrics.

Teach these rules.

  • Double negatives are two negative words used in the same sentence.
  • When you use two negatives, the thought or sentence turns into a positive one. 
  • Using double negatives is poor grammar and confusing.

Negative Words

no not no one
none nobody nothing
neither nowhere never

Negative Adverbs

hardly scarcely barely

Negative Verbs

doesn’t isn’t wasn’t
wouldn’t couldn’t shouldn’t
won’t can’t don’t

Double Negatives Anchor Chart

Teaching Students about Double Negatives from Gay Miller @ Book Units Teacher

Teaching Double Negatives Using Song Lyrics

Look at the lyrics from songs. Find the double negatives.

 

Get these lyrics as a handout.

 

Get these lyrics as a handout.

 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
by Marvin Gaye

Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough.
Ain’t no valley low enough.
Ain’t no river wide enough.
To keep me from getting to you.

Oh! Darling
by The Beatles

Oh! Darling, please believe me.
I’ll never do you no harm.
Believe me when I tell you.
I’ll never do you no harm.

Ghostbusters
by Ray Parker Jr.

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood,
Who you gonna call? (ghostbusters).
If there’s something weird
And it don’t look good,
Who you gonna call? (ghostbusters).

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.
I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Hound Dog
by Elvis Presley

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.

Another Brick in the Wall
by Pink Floyd

We don’t need no education.
We don’t need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teachers leave them kids alone.

Don’t Stop the Music
by Rihanna

I gotta get my body moving.
Shake the stress away.
I wasn’t looking for nobody when you looked my way.
Possible candidate, yeah.

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
by Cage the Elephant

There ain’t no rest for the wicked.
Money don’t grow on trees.
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed.
And there ain’t nothin’ in this world for free.

Somebody to Love
by Queen

I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord!
Somebody (somebody) ooh somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Teaching Video

 

 

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4 comments

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    • Erika on January 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I am thoroughly enjoying your blog and website. I was recently moved to a 4th and 5th year class, where I teach montessori education. It is a public school, so I must to still be mindful of state standards while trying to keep the integrity of the program. I am having a difficult time finding quality practice for ela reading literacy. What resource do you use? I also love your hanging wall charts. How do you know which book to put things in if you are hanging multiple charts?

    1. Hi Erika,

      Thank you so much for taking a look at my blog. It is fairly new. I just starting blogging about 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I have not done a good job organizing my wall charts. I usually just grab one that I no longer need the chart to show and make something new. I teach reading completely from units I create. For English, I like Easy Grammar and Capitalization and Punctuation.

    • Carolyn on December 9, 2019 at 9:56 am

    I was wondering, is this meant to have a freebie activity? Ok, sorry, just found my answer to that one. It was scrunched up on the side of my browser.

    I would also like to take the opportunity to ask you if you do any listening comprehension activities with animated shorts, songs or similar.

    Thank you and thank you for all your tips and ideas!

    1. I have a number of blog post series using different types of media. Here are a few:

      Teaching Text Structures with Songs

      Teaching Persuasive Techniques with Commercials

      Teaching Types of Conflict with Movie Trailers

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