I was talking with a third grade teacher recently who was talking about all of the things that she can’t teach because she just doesn’t have the time. Grammar is one of those things that has been lost because verbs, nouns, adjectives, and such just don’t come up on the standardized tests.
I get it! Seriously, I do. When I taught music, there was so much more I wanted to teach! But I didn’t have the time.
Grammar is one of those things that some kids may pick up naturally, as I did, but other students just don’t get. Nouns are easy – they’re person, place, thing, or idea – and for we teachers, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs probably also seem easy. For our students who don’t instinctively understand the different parts of speech, they’re going to fall behind and get lost.
So! What’s my solution? Word charts and Mad-Libs.
Yup, you read that right. And none of it has to be fancy! When it comes to word charts, create some with your students. Don’t name the chart ‘Adjectives’; instead, name it ‘Words that Describe (adjectives)’. What you’re doing is telling your students exactly what you’re looking for (words that describe) while putting the part of speech in plain sight (adjective), which will allow your students to see the correct term without overwhelming those students who just don’t get it yet.
And Mad-Libs! I have ALWAYS loved Mad-Libs. If you have an Ollie’s anywhere nearby, I can almost guarantee you that they will have some Mad-Lib books! Over the next two weeks I will be developing some Mad-Libs that you will be able to download and enjoy with your students. As your students get more and more used to the different parts of speech, you can begin using the proper terms. Even if you don’t specifically use the proper terms, that’s okay. What you want is for your students to understand what you’re looking for and how to use the parts of speech correctly. Knowing the name doesn’t mean they’ll understand, so give yourself and your students a break!
If you play around with grammar in your classroom – maybe in centers? – what do you use to teach your students the parts of speech? Comment below!
See you Monday!
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