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If you’re a middle school ELA teacher, you may be wondering why you still need to teach your students parts of speech. After all, wasn’t this something that was covered in elementary school?
While it is true that parts of speech is often taught in elementary school, it is important for middle school students to continue to review and practice this skill. Having a strong understanding of the 8 different parts of speech is a crucial aspect of improving writing and communication skills.
Here are 5 activities for teaching the parts of speech to your middle school students.
Using an escape room can be a fun and engaging way for middle school students to learn about using parts of speech. In a parts of speech escape room activity, students work together in teams and use their knowledge of the 8 parts of speech to complete puzzles and activities to escape.
For my parts of speech escape room, I like to set up 5 different classroom stations containing different tasks for students to complete. Each completed task reveals mystery words, codes, or sentences. Here’s how I set up my stations:
This interactive and collaborative activity can help students to better understand and remember the different parts of speech, as they are actively using them to solve problems and complete tasks. Using an escape room to teach parts of speech can be a memorable and effective way to help middle school students master this important skill.
Another fun way to get students to practice parts of speech is with a hidden mystery pictures activity. For this activity, students are provided with a grid, and each box has a word that students must color based on what part of speech it is. Students will need to have a strong understanding of parts of speech to know which color to use where and to properly reveal the hidden picture.
I find this works especially well for review, as it helps students to solidify what they might already know but may have forgotten. I like to use two versions of this activity, in particular—one for Christmas and another for Easter.
Let’s be honest, learning parts of speech can be a little bit, well let’s say…dry. One way to make it more engaging for students is to get creative with what source text you when getting students to identify the 8 different parts of speech. For example, I like to use a collection of famous quotes for mine.
I also get them up and moving around the classroom just to make it even much more engaging and memorable. Have your students circulate the room to find famous quotes task cards at different stations set up in the room. Each quote can have different parts of speech underlined/bolded. Here are a few famous quotes that I use:
As they go around the room and read the quotes, students will record which parts of speech they think are being used in their answer booklets. Then, at the end, everyone can come together to go over each of the task cards and review the answers.
Escape-style grammar challenges are another effective way to make learning parts of speech more engaging. There are many different ways that you can do this, depending on how much time you want to spend reviewing parts of speech with your students.
One activity, the parts of speech grammar escape challenge, has students read a narrative backstory that engages them in the escape-style scenario. Then, they must use their knowledge of parts of speech to complete the related challenge (which involves completing a parts of speech puzzle). This is easy to implement and is meant to be done over the course of a single class.
You can also use a grammar escape room bell-ringers that students complete over the course of a week. For example, you might try the escape the alien planet grammar challenge about an astronaut attempting to escape an alien planet that is facing a severe meteor shower.
This activity can be done daily in small groups for the first 5-10 minutes of class. Each day, they will get progressively closer and closer to escaping by the end of the week, which is the goal, by using their knowledge of the different parts of speech.
This activity works great when broken down like this, as each of the daily puzzles brings students into a new part of the study where they uncover more clues and attempt to succeed in each task to have a successful escape.
Finally, you can also get students to review and practice their knowledge of parts of speech with paper fortune tellers. Have students fold up pre-made fortune tellers with the definitions and examples of the different parts of speech.
Taking turns with a partner, students will roll a die and move the flaps back and forth according to the number they receive. The other student defines the part of speech shown when the fortune teller stops. They can check their answer and get examples of each of the 8 parts of speech by lifting up the flap.
There you have it! I hope you find these suggestions helpful for going over the parts of speech with your middle school ELA students. Looking for tips and resources for teaching ELA skills and resources? Click here. You can check out the ready-to-use ELA resources mentioned in the post below.
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