Let’s explore 7 fun activities for practicing the different parts of speech in upper elementary.
Parts of speech are just one of those things that keep showing up again and again in ELA education, starting as young as 1st grade and continuing through high school.
The sooner students grasp the different parts of speech, the better.
Today, we are focusing on some fun activities for practicing the different speech parts that work well in the upper elementary.
#1 | Mad Libs
Mad Libs is a classic game that has been around for generations. They are a fun way to practice different parts of speech, especially nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
To play, you start with a story that has blank spaces where different parts of speech are needed. You then ask players to provide a noun, verb, or adjective to fill in each blank space. Once all the spaces are filled, you read the story aloud, with the players’ words in place of the blanks. The result is usually a hilarious, nonsensical story that will have everyone laughing.
Optional: If you have some students in your class that just ‘get’ parts of speech, ask them to write the mad lib story that their classmates will fill in.
#2 | Parts of Speech Charades
Charades is a classic game that everyone loves and can also be used to practice parts of speech.
To play, write down different parts of speech on slips of paper and put them in a hat or bowl.
Players then take turns drawing a slip of paper and acting out the part of speech without speaking. For example, if the player draws a verb, they might act out running or jumping. The other players then guess what part of speech is being acted out.
#3 | Sentence Scramble
To play Sentence Scramble, write a sentence on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, but scramble the words so that they are out of order.
For example: “The cat chased the mouse.” could become “Chased the mouse cat the.”
The players then race to unscramble the sentence, with points awarded to groups for speed and accuracy. This game can be used to practice nouns, verbs, adjectives, and even prepositions.
#4 | Game Show Games
This Game Show, which focuses on Parts of Speech, is another way students can review, pre-test, or practice parts of speech.
Each question in the game show directly relates back to parts of speech, and students get immediate feedback.
This Parts of Speech Game Show can be used in a whole group or small group setting and can be up-leveled with sound effects and lighting for some extra special gameplay.
#5 | Word Sorts
Word sorts can be used to create several activities for practicing the different parts of speech.
Write a list of words on small cards, and have your students sort them into piles based on their parts of speech.
You can also make it a fun game by setting a timer and seeing how many cards they can sort in a certain amount of time.
Once you have the cards created, you can also use the cards to group students for every day activities as well.
#6 | Song Analysis
Using music can result in some fun activities for practicing the different parts of speech.
First, pick a song, listen to the lyrics, and try to identify the different parts of speech. You can even create a worksheet with the lyrics and ask your students to underline the different parts of speech they find.
If you want to take it one step further, give students different musical instruments depending on which part of speech they represent. Have them read through the lyrics and highlight their specific part of speech in the text.
Then, read through the lyrics, or play the song, and each time their part of speech is sung, the students with that musical instrument will play. It will sound a bit chaotic as all the nouns are announced with a beat of a drum, the adjectives are introduced with a cymbal, and the verbs are defined with a cowbell (or whatever instruments you have available), but it will definitely be fun.
#7 | Parts of Speech BINGO
Create BINGO cards with different parts of speech, and have your students mark off the parts of speech as you call them out. The first person to get a BINGO wins!
Remember, the fun activities for practicing the different parts of speech that we’ve outlined on this list don’t need to all be used at once or even in the same month or semester. Plan to use them throughout the year as practice and review of the parts of speech.
As we mentioned before, parts of speech are something that does not go away, and students will continue to work with and practice the different parts of speech well into middle and high school. That is why ongoing practice and review is going to be imperative for any upper elementary teacher who wants to prepare their students well moving forward.