Parts of Speech

I’ve been teaching my kids about the parts of speech in our writer’s workshop lately.  I started with a quick overview about how our words do jobs for us.  We used this Parts of Speech worksheet to briefly go over the parts of speech so the kids could understand what they were and the jobs they do in writing and speech.  Then I assigned a part of speech to each day and we did some activities to help reinforce the ideas over the next couple of weeks.

Click on the picture to get the printable Parts of Speech worksheet.
Click on the picture to get the printable Parts of Speech worksheet.

 Parts of Speech Activities We Did:

  • Watched the Schoolhouse Rock Grammar Rock Videos that went with each part of speech.  They are oldies, but goodies.  I learned parts of speech from them when I was a kid and I can still sing you every song.  Now my kids join in with me too.
  • Brainstormed a word list on our white board of example words for each part of speech.
  • Played with a lot of mad libs and then even wrote our own.  The kids started by writing a one page story.  Then they erased key words out of each sentence, filling in a blank line and an appropriate part of speech label under the blank.  Then we supplied our own words according to the label, and the author of the mad lib got to read them out loud to everyone.  We laughed our heads off.  They were hilarious.
  • Read paragraphs from some of our favorite books, picking out instances of that part of speech.
  • Had a race.  I wrote various words on index cards and put them in piles in the middle of the room.  I hung signs for each part of speech up on the walls around the room.  Each kid had to deliver all their index cards to the correct part of speech and race to the finish line first.
  • Diagrammed Mother Goose Rhymes.  I underlined certain words from the rhymes, and they rewrote the verse and labeled each underlined word with the correct part of speech.
  • Made a flip book that listed each part of speech.  When you flip the page up, you can see the job it does and some example words.

Parts-of-Speech-Flipbook-(1)

The biggest sheet is a full size sheet of construction paper.  Each page was reduced by one ruler’s width from the one underneath it.  We just put our rulers down along the bottom edge, traced the edge with  pencil, and then cut along the line.  We sharply creased each page so it would easily flip up along the crease mark.  Then we hole punched the top and attached it together with brads.  Here you can see what the flip sides of the pages look like.

Parts-of-Speech-Flipbook

Of course, we’ll keep adding to these as we come across interesting words, and my kids now have their flip books by their side as they write so they can get ideas for vivid words and remember to use lots of description and full sentences as they write.  We also use the flipbooks to quiz ourselves as we review parts of speech.

All in all, learning about the parts of speech has been really fun.  We took a normally dry topic and put some life into it.  It has also given me a foothold for asking my kids to improve their writing.  Now when I come across “The cat sat” in their writing, I can say, “Throw in a preposition, an adverb, and an adjective in there and you’ll have a good looking sentence.”  And by golly, they can do it.

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24 Comments

  1. Lisa

    I really love these ideas and will be using them as we review this. I really like the flip book idea and also the index card race. One thing that we have done (we use the Waldorf approach, and this is part of that pedagogy) is beginning around the second grade when we first start nouns and verbs (which are introduced at that time as “naming” and “doing” words), we assign a color to each part of speech. Nouns are blue, verbs are red, etc. We use these color codes for all the elementary years when we are doing grammar. So if we are identifying parts of speech in a passage, I would have my child underline them in the appropriate colors. If we are writing something for a grammar exercise, they would write each word in the proper color. This really helps reinforce which words are which, especially as we do this consistently for several years. I’ve had my son write little “poems” by writing first a noun, then the same noun with a verb, then adding an adjective, then an adverb, etc… all in the assigned colors. He got a kick out of coming up with something silly. We have also used movement in our lessons–talking about verbs by having the child think of different verbs and act them out, really reinforcing the idea of a verb as an action word. Adverbs would be great for acting out also. Another thing we recently did was that we were studying Norse Mythology at the same time we were learning about verb tenses. In the Norse Myths, there are three characters called the Three Norns… one is in charge of everything related to the past, one handles everything related to the present, and one knows everything about the future. It was so easy to tie this into learning about past, present, and future tenses, and we explored sentences related to the myths as we were first learning about this topic. We took sentences directly out of the stories we’d read and tried re-stating them according to how each of the Norns would have said it. My son got the concept so easily this way. I highly recommend D’Aulaire’s Norse Myths anyway; they were wildly popular with my son.

    1. Layers of Learning

      Any age could use this if they haven’t learned it before or for a review or reminder. But usually in 3rd grade the parts of speech would be covered for the first time. Kids who are good readers could learn it earlier. Kids who struggle to read and write could have it delayed a bit.

  2. This is terrific. Have you made them smaller and more portable for older learners? I’m looking to make flip books for teachers working with ELLs as well.

    The needs of SPED and ELL are similar even though the causes are different. Thus anything you do for one, should help the other, and the “regular” kids as well.

    1. Yes, the kids made several mistakes on their flip books. These photos were taken in process as the lesson progressed. You can see that “unusually” was scratched out to be “unusual” and we did continue to make corrections and add lots more words as well over the next lesson or two. Thanks!

  3. Kara

    This is great we Waldorf homeschool and we will definitely be making this and color coordinating it. What a great idea thanks for posting. It would be good to do this for punctuation as well. Each page a different mark.

  4. Pamela

    I use grammar flipcharts every year in my ESL class. My only suggestion is that I have my students write them so that when they see the word adjective on the edge of the paper, all the info above it is about adjectives, not the part of speech introduced before the adjective. That way the visual association is made. For example in the photo above, a student sees the word preposition but the words are adverbs. Since the brain is always searching to make connections, it is helpful that the label and the examples are seen together. Flipbooks are great tool for grammar. Enjoy using them.

    1. That’s a great point Pamela. We frequently use ours as a self-quizzing tool. The kids read the part of speech, and then have to list off a bunch of examples before they flip it over to see if they’re right. I prefer to have them “hidden” for that reason, but otherwise I think your suggestion is terrific. Thanks!

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