Spelling & Word Study, Motivation for Literacy
Teaching parts of speech is really important because it gives us a common vocabulary to talk about different words. And it also helps when I'm teaching different text forms. For example, when they're writing narratives and all of their verbs are in future tense, past tense, present tense, and I say you know they all have to be in past tense, this is a narrative, and it's all happening in the past, and the student doesn't know what verb tenses are, then I have to explain it and go back. If I'm talking to the entire class and I say your proper nouns are not capitalized, a lot of you are not capitalizing them. If we have that common knowledge about what a proper noun is they get it right away, otherwise I have to go back and teach it again. And parts of speech can be a lot of fun to learn if you do it in the right way.
The students in the sixth grade come to me already knowing what nouns and verbs are, but the other ones they're a little fuzzy. What I like to do is capitalize the proper nouns even though it's just the first letter of the proper noun that would be capitalized, but I overemphasize and capitalize all of it just to remind them of the capitalization. Adjectives and adverbs are easy to remember because they have the /ad/ at the beginning and those are helping to describe, so we talk a lot about how this is really about describing. Preposition is easy because it has the hint word in it which is position, and a preposition is about the position of the nouns and the pronouns with regards to other words in the sentence. Conjunction is a lot of fun to teach because I make them do the junction, train motion every time we talk about a conjunction, joining parts of phrases and words and sentences. Interjection they get right away because I start yelling hey and yo in the classroom, and they like that it has an exclamation mark, only one of course. Articles are pretty easy because they are always a, an, and the and there are only three. So they're pretty proud of themselves when they learn what the parts of speech are.
And in order to reinforce the parts of speech I have them do a mini-booklet. They also have to give examples in the mini-booklet, and they work through all of the parts of speech. Mini-booklets are a lot of fun and the kids love to make them. And they're really easy to make, they're actually just a piece of paper that has been cut down the side, so you do one hamburger fold, then you fold it one more time on both sides and then you do a hotdog fold. You unfold it and cut right here, and that's your mini-booklet.
After we've learned the parts of speech I like to see them apply it, so I write a lot of sentences on the board and then as a class we parse the sentences, because some words in different sentences have different functions, so we need to practice it quite a bit. One of the challenges that I gave my two classes, one of the challenges was to come up with a sentence where all of the parts of speech were included and it's a lot of fun to talk to the kids and have them parse the sentences, so I'll just point to the words and I'll have 25 students yelling out interjection, verb, proper noun, adverb as we go through, and this was from one class, and this was the second class's submission to the can you write a sentence that includes all of the parts of speech. And I think they did a pretty good job.
The goal of Parts of Speech: Developing Spelling Skills (Virtual Tour) is to use memory tricks and motivating strategies to teach students the parts of speech.
- Refer to the parts of speech throughout the day during shared reading and writing activities. Reinforcing what the students have learned will help them apply their understanding to new situations.
- When making the mini books, use legal size paper (8.5 X 13).