Help! My students don’t remember the parts of speech!
Yep, we’ve all been there. You start a grammar lesson, only to realize that your students don’t remember the basics. It’s not that they don’t understand grammar and syntax; they just forgot the technical terms (nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections) that they need to know in upper elementary and middle school. Your instructional time is limited, so you don’t have time for an in-depth lesson on parts of speech. Well, fortunately, you can reteach and review them quickly with these student-approved activities.
1. Parts of Speech Tic-Tac-Toe
There are two variations of this game. The more advanced version contains a mixed-review of all eight parts of speech. I recommend this option for students who are relatively familiar with the parts of speech and just need a little review. Each play will use a different color marker (instead of using Xs and Os) and will write the part of speech in a box when it’s their turn. They can use the Quick Guide to help think of appropriate words.
The blank version (below) uses one part of speech at a time, so it’s a little easier. This option is perfect for students who need a more focused review. Eventually, they can play the game with more than one part of speech. Another variation is to have each player use a different part of speech (e.g., player A would use adverbs, and player B would use adjectives).
For both versions of the game, students can use the Parts of Speech Quick Guide as a reference tool. Students can also use the Quick Guide for the activities below. You can get this free game by clicking HERE.
2. Sentence Patterning
Sentence patterning charts are charts that include separate columns for adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs and prepositional phrases. You and your students will combine words from the charts to make sentences and “sing” the sentences to the tune of Farmer in the Dell.
Using chart paper, write and define the parts of speech on top of separate columns. Use a different color marker for each part of speech.
- Ask students to discuss examples of words for each part of speech, one part at a time, with a partner.
- Have students share words (one part of speech at a time) while you record them on the chart. They can use the “Quick Guide” from above to help them.
- Lead the students in a chant using the Farmer in the Dell tune with words from the chart. The example below uses the first words of each column.
- Lead students through several combinations of the parts of speech. You can place sticky notes in each column to indicate which words will be used to create a sentence.
- Students can take turns moving sticky notes to make new sentences, and the class sings the song.
Using the Quick Guide from activity 1, students will “hunt” for parts of speech in a passage of a novel. When selecting text for this activity, do not photocopy more than one page (a little text goes a long way) or the task can be a bit overwhelming. Photocopy a page from a novel or story the students have read or are reading, and have them color-code the various parts of speech. Students should focus on one part of speech at a time, and they don’t need to find every part of speech on the page. This is a perfect activity for students to do in pairs or small groups where they can discuss debate, and classify together. This is especially effective for older students who are learning to identify verbals.
If you get a chance to try any of these strategies, I’d love to hear from you. Email me anytime with comments, questions, or feedback. I am here to help!