Tips for Teaching Parts of Speech, Part 2

Tips for Teaching Parts of Speech, Part 2

We met Mr. Noun in Tips for Teaching Parts of Speech, Part 1.

Here he is:

How to teach nouns

We also met Mr. Verb, who is colored green, to reflect GO, action, and movement.

Here he is:


How to teach children verbs so they remember


Today we get to meet Ms. Adjective. Her color is purple because she “fancies up” nouns. She adds meaning to nouns, embellishes them, explains more about them, and in general, adorns them.

Here she is in all her regal-ness:


How to teach adjectives


Ms. Adjective would never dream of going out without her fancy clothes, high heels, purse, and her hair in an up-do. She just loves, loves, loves dressing up herself and everyone around her!

A simple way to remember what Ms. Adjective does is to say, “Ms. Adjective adds to the object!”

Now that we’ve accumulated three parts of speech, we can do much more in terms of sentence building.

A Framework for Sentence-Building

Back in my callow youth, we had grammar lessons every day. They included acquiring the skill of diagramming sentences. At the time, diagramming sentences bored me nearly to tears. Now, I find the structure fascinating. Had I been introduced to parts of speech through visuals and little story snippets that helped me easily understand, maybe diagramming would also have been fun. I have recently revived the art of diagramming because I believe that it helps children/students easily learn how to correctly construct sentences. This practice is something I first began to use when I was teaching Spanish. It helped my students learn the language much more quickly.

Examples of simple diagramming for Nouns and Verbs

SIMPLE SENTENCES – Subject (noun) and verb.

Diagramming simple sentences

Direct Objects in a sentence

Examples of simple diagramming for Adjectives

Simple diagramming for adjectives

How to diagram for adjectives

Diagramming adjectives

If you provide your children blank frames like this one, they can use them to make sentences of their own.


Diagramming adjectives


Collecting Words

A practice that facilitates vocabulary acquisition and knowledge of the structure of language is to display words according to their part of speech. In my 1st and 2nd grade classroom, I used the walls as secondary teachers (well, probably actually primary teachers because children learn so much from what they see around them – maybe more than they gain from hearing a teacher talk!). We acquired one new word a day, used it, made sentences with it, and at the end of the week, put our new words with their neighbors on the walls. We filled the bulletin board on the far left with nouns as we learned them. The second bulletin board was for verbs and the third for nouns.

Writing with Flair

One of the biggest pitfalls in writing for 1st or 2nd graders is that they tend to just say what they have to say in a most direct unadorned way. “I went to the park.” “I ate cake.” “ I like to play.” Using the diagramming frames will prompt the children to elaborate in their writing and prevent the need for you to nag them about using adjectives!

SnapWords® for Sentence Building

Here are some examples of SnapWords® adjectives that you can use with your children in sentence building as they acquire a solid vocabulary of sight words (high-frequency words recognized on sight).

Sight word adjectivesFinally, I just wanted to say a simple reminder that children will love learning when it is kid-friendly. Use visuals, personification, little stories, humor, movement, color coding, and many other tools that will carry the learning into the child’s brain in multiple pathways.




Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published