Colorful Parts of Speech
Materials: paper, pencil, coloring utensils, teacher prepared sentences
Activity time: class period
Concepts taught: recognition of parts of speech
To help students learn the functions of words within a sentence, we Language Arts teachers were often encouraged to teach them how to diagram. YUCK! I never liked this activity, for I felt it defeated the purpose of illustrating relationships within a context. Rather, it encouraged separation and partition. To give my students practice in identifying parts of speech and noticing the positioning of words in a sentence, I developed the activity Colorful Parts of Speech.
A. Have the students copy several sentences on their paper. I prefer them to use pencil. You may want to dictate the sentences to them.
B. Assign a particular color to each of the eight parts of speech. I use the following:
Nouns = blue
Verbs = red
Adverbs = green
Adjectives = yellow
Pronouns = purple
Prepositions = orange
Interjections = brown
Conjunctions = black
C. Have the students underline each of the words in the sentence according to its function. NOTE: You may want to start with only nouns and verbs, then progressively add more parts of speech as your students become more proficient.
Your students’ papers will certainly be colorful, and the finished products make a nice display. My fifth and sixth-graders enjoy this activity because, even though it is a skills practice, they think of it as an art project. And everyone knows: ART IS FUN!
By Angela Ackley
Parts of Speech in Poetry
Materials required: paper, chart paper, colored markers
Activity time: 30 minutes
Concepts taught: Language Arts, Parts of Speech
1. Find a simple poem and copy it on chart paper, skipping lines between each line of poetry for editing.
2. Ask students to copy poem on paper, also skipping lines on paper between each line of poetry.
3. After the lesson on nouns (using the master poem on the chart paper) ask students which words are nouns.
Cross them out with one color of marker. Make a legend at the bottom of the paper nouns. Ask students to brainstorm other nouns to replace the nouns you have just crossed out. Write them (in the marker designated for nouns) above the noun. This master poetry sheet becomes the “class” poem.
4. Then students cross out the same nouns on their paper and replace the nouns with their own nouns. (These can be taken from a noun bank which is posted somewhere in the room.)
5. After you have completed a lesson on verbs, do the same thing. Cross out the verbs on the master copy. Use another color of marker and label the legend “verbs”. Ask for volunteer verbs and add them above the crossed out verbs. Students do now have to have a specific idea in mind. After a few parts of speech, the poem tends to “take on its own theme” and students can go with it.
6. Continue with whatever parts of speech you want to teach or review. I change or substitute pronouns and then, using an insertion mark, add adjectives before each noun and adverbs either before or after each verb, adjective, or adverb.
7. Students copy their finished product, making any additions that they feel make their poem say what they want it to say and then they share it with the class. Their poems take on a very professional sound which impresses them as well as reviews important uses of parts of speech and development of sentence structure.
Example of poem:
Up in the sky, the sky so blue
Birds can be seen by me and by you.
Deep in the murky waters, the lively croaking frogs bellow so loud
Dainty water striders are swiftly retreating from them and from others.
Using Color to Teach Adjectives
Activity time: 45 – 60 minute period
Concepts taught: English, adjectives
After teaching and practicing nouns and verbs I use poetry to help with adjectives.
I explain what adjectives are and what they do for the noun. I ask the students to pick their favorite color. On a sheet of paper they write the color at the top and draw a line down the middle. The left side is labeled NOUNS, the right ADJECTIVES. Students are to list as many things with their chosen color as possible in a five minute time period. We discuss some of their listed items and describe their characteristics.
I then read a poem from “Hailstones and Halibut Bones” that is a color no one has chosen. We talk about the words used in that poem and relate them to our assignment. They are to write two adjectives, on the right side of the page, for each item they listed on the NOUN side of the page. I check over the list to be sure all words listed are adjectives.
They are then asked to write a color poem with a color, a noun, and their two adjectives in each line. They can start each line with the color or the noun, as long as the adjectives are put where they will make sense.
When finished they turn in their lists with the poem. All students read their poems and we list the adjectives they used on the board in the same marker color. The last part is to draw a picture of their nouns in the appropriate color. A book will be made with the poems and accompanying drawings.
Materials required: chart paper or chalkboard, paper, pencil, toy
Concepts taught: Parts of speech: adjectives & adverbs
1. After having taught concept of adjectives and adverbs, have the children bring in a toy, favorite or otherwise.
2. Divide in half a sheet of paper (fold in the middle) with adjective on top of one side and adverb on the other.
3. Looking at their “toy”, students record adjectives either a number or by time. Have them do the same for adverb side.
4. The teacher asks students to submit adjective, which are recorded so students can see them. Do the same for adverb.
5. Have students write a line with adjectives and adverbs and their toy. EX: My big brown soft Teddy Bear happily sleeps with me.
6. Have students share their line and record them all.
7. Student or teacher prints the Toy Parade Poem on colorful paper, then posts it on the outside of classroom door or a hall bulletin board for all to read.