Why YOU should be teaching the Parts of Speech (Flash Freebie!)

I've really gotten into the power of parts of speech this year. One reason is due to having an EL cluster. I have 8 ELs in my room who bring 5 different home languages. Writing has been a struggle this year and I struggled with knowing how to help not only my ELs but all of my students. Solving unknown words and their meanings also presented some troubles. Talking with my teammate Kate, who also had an EL cluster, she mentioned how she was going to start doing Mentor Sentences (there's more on this below). The work I saw her doing seemed important in helping my students, so I found ways to make it happen in my room as well. Let's just say, I don't regret it one bit!

This is a doozy of a post that will hopefully bring some insight into the power of teaching parts of speech as well as ways and resources for your classroom!

What are the parts of speech?
All words in the English language can be classified into one of the 8 (or as I like to say 9) parts of speech. Words are linked together to form clear thoughts. The parts of speech include:

1. Nouns- person, place, thing, idea
2. Adjectives- describes nouns
3. Verbs- action words of states of being
4. Adverbs- describes verbs or adjectives
5. Conjunctions- link other words together
6. Interjections- sound words that hold emotions
7. Pronoun- replaces nouns
8. Preposition- shows relationship between nouns/pronouns and other words in the sentence
9. Articles (this one is sometimes left out)- signal a noun will follow (ex. a, an, the)

I created this resource with posters for each part of speech to be used with one of my center activities! To be honest, it's more for me to help me use student friendly language and have examples ready to go, but SHHHHH. No one needs to know.



How does knowing the parts of speech help students?
Writing
I noticed that it was really hard for me to help my students write clear sentences. I would always go back to the awful phrase, "Does that makes sense?" Of course it makes sense to them- otherwise, they wouldn't have written it that way! This phrase is also useless when working with ELs, as they might not know what a 'correct' sentence should sound like/look like. I was stuck. How do I help them? They didn't have the experience of identifying subject and predicate in previous grades. Parts of speech lets us start with basic sentences and build them by adding other parts of speech. Before long, students were more aware of their word choice and word order and sentences slowly started to make "more sense." Also, it made it much easier to discuss errors in their writing by naming what part of speech they are missing or how to change their part of speech so it is correct (verb tense, for example).
Reading
I've found learning about the parts of speech to be incredibly helpful with figuring out unknown words. If students know what part of speech a word is, it is easier for them to use the context around it to determine it's meaning or use a possible synonym. For example, read the following sentence:

Tamera was lumbering in the hallway with her pencil box, folder, and notebook.

Once we learned that sentences must have certain parts of speech, students can start to diagram the sentence. They will find the nouns: Tamera, hallway, pencil box, folder, notebook. They'll notice prepositions such as "in" and "with"; the pronoun "her", and the conjunction "and." All that is left is "was lumbering." Those are verbs. They now know they are looking for an action word or state of being of some type. They can then use other context clues in other sentences or prior knowledge to determine the meaning.
Using this strategy for adjectives is awesome as well!

I created this FREE resource to practice this skill. Not only are they identifying parts of speech, but they are using context clues and synonyms as well!



How can you incorporate parts of speech work into your day?
Do you do a morning message? We learned all of our parts of speech by using our morning message! I would highlight words that were examples of the same part of speech. We would then discuss how they are connected/linked/similar to one another. We then named it, defined it, and put some examples on a large post-it. It's nothing fancy, but after daily practice, my students started getting the hang of it. Not to mention, it added a little academic focus to our morning messages to make them multifaceted.


I purchased the resource below from Ladybug's Teacher Files late this year that I'll use next year to have up in the room to help reinforce them as well! Can't wait!


Do you do word study, such as spelling or Words Their Way? Every now and then, we would take a little break from these and do Mentor Sentence guided by Jivey from Ideas by Jivey. I like mentor sentences because instead of focusing on errors and fixing them, it gives students proper examples for them to notice. You know how you are supposed to tell students what they should be doing, instead of what they shouldn't be doing? ("Walk in the hallway," as opposed to "No running.") Same thing with mentor sentences: show them what a great example of writing looks like so they can imitate it. They loved being able to try to give a name to every word in the sentence. They started to notice patterns (like using commas with certain conjunctions like "but") and I saw my students then try some of the techniques in their own writing. Check out more about Mentor Sentences here!

Do you do centers or stations? There are a ton of great resources on TpT both for free and for a little bit of money that allow students to use parts of speech as a part of other focuses as well. This is a great opportunity for students to explore parts of speech and practice and they are often tied to other skills as well so you get more bang for your buck! I just searched TpT and found these fun ways to integrate PoS into your centers.


Integrate art and writing with this free activity! Not to mention, I always love color-coded things!
This activity also incorporates the writing process and can be used with different seasons.
I haven't personally purchased these next two sets, but you really can't go wrong with anything Rachel creates! These would be great for test prep!
Make your own Mad Libs (which require students to learn the parts of speech) or use this resource created by Rachel for a fun way to practice. 

How do you make the parts of speech "stick?"
I got a great compliment from the EL teacher that I co-teach with that she was pleasantly surprised with how my students were able to more often than not, correctly identify the part of speech of a word. We both accredited to the following simple processes:

  1. Make them say the words over, and over, and over again out loud. When we identify a conjunction, we all say the word together, or I'll say, "What part of speech is this word?" and they'll all respond, "Conjunction." We may repeat this 2-3 times. The repetition helps them become confident with knowing how to say the words.
  2. Add actions and movements to the words. For example, with conjunctions again, we also would make a link with our fingers to remind them that conjunctions connect or link words. More importantly, I let the students develop the movement so they own it.
  3. Create resources together. I didn't have a fancy "anchor" chart made with all the examples posted and on display. Why? Because this goes against what an "anchor" chart is. Anchor charts should be created with the students so the learning truly is 'anchored' within them. We built our resource wall over the course of many days. It took a couple extra minutes of instruction time, but students knew where to look and how to use our jottings to reference. 

Well, if you made it through this, it's your lucky day! I just posted 3 new centers with a PoS focus that also focuses on prefixes, suffixes, and roots!

These first two are the same format but one focuses on prefixes and the other focuses on suffixes. They have the same activities and layout!

      


I've built in some "help" cards so students can be more independent if the skill is relatively new. You can also decide how much help to give them by adding which help cards you want!


There are 2 separate activities that cover the same thing- just different ways for them to showcase their learning.

There are 12 prefixes and suffixes in the packs to help give a variety!


I also had a focus on roots! These have the same format but the type of practice is a little different.


 Help cards and activities are included, just like in the other sets.
12 roots are included also!

Even better for you, I've made them into a flash freebie for the next hour or so! Snag them now by clicking the cover pictures above. Grab 1, 2 or all 3 in my store for free for the next hour or after on sale for a week! 
I hope you've found some easy ways to integrate PoS into your day. The benefits can really be useful! :)



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2 comments

  1. I love this post!!! I love what you said about saying "Does that make sense?" to ELLs... it doesn't work with students in the early and intermediate stages of language development! I love the idea of adding actions to parts of speech!!!

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    1. Your sweet comment and feedback on the resources made my heart so happy! Thank you for your kind words and support, Deb! I truly appreciate every word and punctuation mark :).

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