Tips for Teaching Parts of Speech, Part 2
Here he is:
Mr. Verb is colored green to reflect GO, action, and movement.
Here he is:
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:
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.
Here are examples of simple diagramming for Nouns and Verbs:
SIMPLE SENTENCES – Subject (noun) and verb.
Here are examples of simple diagramming for Adjectives:
If you provide your children 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 (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).
Finally, 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.
Sarah K Major
Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.
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