8 parts of speech posters: verb, pronoun, noun, conjunction, preposition, adverb, adjective, and article. For speech and language therapy and ESL.
Print these parts of speech posters to use with this fun activity that gets kids up and moving.
Tape the posters to a whiteboard. Draw boxes next to each poster so that you can write words in the boxes.
Write a sentence together. The best sentences are silly sentences that are about people they know and love, that somehow bring them together with their favorite Star Wars characters, on summer vacation, when they are grown up, with a million dollars, etc.
Underline words that you don’t want them to categorize (younger kids may not be working on prepositions just yet!)
Each student takes turns choosing a word to categorize. When they make a guess, ask them, “Why?” Get them in the habit of explaining why. If they say “sloppy” is a verb. Ask them, “Did you go sloppy-ing yesterday? I did. I sloppied last week.” They will laugh and probably know that it doesn’t sound right. Ask them what the purpose of the word is in the sentence. Does it describe something? What does it describe? Etc.
For older students 3rd grade and up, have them track their own progress (progress chart included in the download link above.) Put a check mark (or color a square green) if they get it right on the first try. Or an X (or color a square red) if they don’t get it right the first time. Tell them the goal is to color the whole chart, not so that it is full of check-marks, but so that it is full of all of their wonderful tries. They need to see that they are improving and getting better. Having students track their own progress gives them a skill they can carry into other parts of their lives.
Wait. Stop. Ask why. It’s worth asking the question here: Why do we teach parts of speech?</strong></em> I’ve thought about this a lot, as many adults I know couldn’t tell you a preposition from an adverb. Here are my thoughts:
Classroom jargon Many teachers use these words all the time in class. For students struggling with language, they have absolutely no idea what’s going on when the teacher instructs their class to use many colorful adjectives or be sure to match the verb with the appropriate tense.
Spelling Spelling sometimes depends on which part of speech it is. Accept. Except. Too. To. Etc.
Parts of speech are the building blocks of English grammar When writing, students often have big ideas in their heads. Entire books are composed up there. But when they start writing, it comes out as fragments with no capitalization or punctuation. Writing is built on a series of increasingly complex structures. If students know the parts of speech, you can easily teach these structures and provide solid visual models for how to write a beautiful complex sentence.
Our brains need it Imagine learning how a car works. There are things that make a car go. Or stop. Or turn. Or signal something. If you learned all of these things in random order, your brain would automatically place them in these categories. We are wired to do this. Now imagine being someone who struggles with language. With spelling. With writing. Without explicit instruction in the rules, structure, and categories of language, the brain is in overdrive trying to build the system from scratch, or, a more popular, damaging, and immensely frustrating alternative: memorize absolutely everything.
Learning other languages Many people who learn another language comment that they learned more about their first language during the process. This is because in order to draw neural connections to a new language, adults tend to draw direct lines from their first language to their second language. Having a framework on which to build allows the brain to draw those connections more quickly.
TECH SPECS: Digital download (78.5 MB). JPG format. 8 posters, 11x16.5 inches. High resolution (300 dpi).