This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can learn about the parts of speech with your whole family together!
The Parts of Speech Flip Book Exercise is a writing lesson from Writer’s Workshop Jump Start, the introductory unit from the Layers of Learning Writer’s Workshop Curriculum. Learn more about Writer’s Workshop in the Curriculum Guide. We also invite you to explore the rest of the Layers of Learning Program. It has hands-on experiments, projects, and learning fun in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning.
As kids begin writing, it’s important to understand the basic parts of speech. Words do jobs for us. Each part of speech does a special job in a sentence. Once we understand those jobs, we can begin to use them to write more clear, descriptive, cohesive sentences.
Step 1: Library Research
Before you begin the exercise, read a book or two about the parts of speech. Here are some suggestions, but if you can’t find these, look for books at your library about grammar and the parts of speech. The colored smilies above each book tell you what age level they’re recommended for.
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary
by Brian P. Cleary
The Dragon Grammar Book
by Diane Mae Robinson
by M.L. Nesbitt
Step 2: Parts of Speech Flip Book
For this exercise, you’ll need construction paper, a ruler, a hole punch, pencils, markers, brads, scissors, and the Parts of Speech printable to use as a reference.
Make a flip book to help you learn each of the parts of speech.
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 a 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 the whole flipbook together with brads.
On the back of each page, we used the Parts of Speech printable to help us define each part of speech. We also color-coordinated our printable with our flipbook so my visual kids could associate each color with its assigned part of speech. Then we came up with example words to create a word bank for each part of speech.
Of course, we’ll keep adding to these as we come across interesting words, and my kids now have their flip books on hand as they write. They have access to vivid words and remember to use lots of description and full sentences as they write. We also use our flip books 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.
Step 3: Show What You Know
To show what you know about parts of speech, write several sentences and label each one with the part of speech. You can even use your markers and underline each part of speech with the color that goes with the coordinating one on the printable and on the flipbook.
Mini Lessons are short lessons to go along with the Writer’s Workshop exercises we choose from the Layers of Learning Writer’s Workshop Program. We have a short Mini Lesson each day to help us learn the conventions of writing without the overwhelm of huge grammar expectations.
If you’re learning the parts of speech, you MUST watch the Schoolhouse Rock Grammar Rock Videos that go 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.
Have a race! Write various words on index cards and put them in piles in the middle of the room. Hang signs for each part of speech up on the walls around the room. Each kid has to deliver all of their index cards to the correct part of speech and race to the finish line first..
Mad Libs make an excellent review of the parts of speech. You can even use your flip books to help with ideas as you fill in the blanks.
To Learn More About Layers of Learning
The Layers of Learning Program includes history, geography, science, and art. We also offer Writer’s Workshop. Each of these courses is intended for your whole family to learn together, family-school style. We hope you’ll join us in this awesome learning adventure!
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