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. As an adult, I began to 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 worked on reviving the art of diagramming because I believe that it helps 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.
Simple Diagramming - Nouns & Verbs
Simple Diagramming - Adjectives
Adjectives are words that "fancy up" nouns or "add to the object." They answer: "What kind?", "Which one?", and "How many?". Adjectives tend to come before the noun.
Write, or have the students write, these sentences using the color-coding. Use these activity sheets for hands-on practice.
If you provide your students with blank frames like this one, they can use them to make sentences of their own.
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. 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. You can use these parts of speech visuals as headings for the wall displays.
Writing with Flair
One of the biggest pitfalls in writing for 1st and 2nd graders is that they tend to just say what they have to say in the most direct way.
Use the blank diagramming frames to prompt your students to elaborate on their writing and prevent the need for you to remind them about using adjectives.
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 through multiple pathways. Try this approach today!
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!