English grammar can be a challenge for English learners, young and old alike. After all, even identifying the parts of speech in simple sentences can leave students scratching their heads. For example, the first underlined word below is an adjective, while the second underline word is a noun, even though their letters are written the same:
He played on the boys’ basketball team. The boys played on the basketball team.
It’s no wonder kids often dread learning grammar! But (fun) help at home with putting the English grammar puzzle together can ease students’ frustrationand hopefully inspire them to learn more about it!
Way #1: Learning Nouns
Nouns are people places, things, or ideas. A fun activity to teach or reinforce this part of speech is to use index cards to write nouns onfor items and even family members in your home! Place the index cards, with words like couch, bedroom, Dad, and ball at their locations around your home (and tape them to your family members and pets who are proper nouns 😊), labeling the nouns that they represent. You can even have your child make some of his or her own index cards. Place new cards around your home as your child masters the old ones.
To teach nouns that are ideas, you can include them in your conversations about values, such as honesty,courage, and perseverance.
Way #2: Learning Adjectives
Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns. Children canlearn these by making silly sentences that include as many adjectives as possible to describe a noun. Using a large white board or poster paper, have your child practice making silly sentences like this:
Start with a simple sentence idea-
The girl was _______ because ______.
Then make a silly sentence like this-
The tall, happy,smiling girl soon was grumpy because her delicious strawberryand chocolate ice cream cone tumbled to the cold, hard floor.
Soon your child will come up with his or her own ideas for making silly sentences!
Way #3: Learning Verbs
Verbs are action words and “state of being” (helping) words. We will focus on an action verb activity here. Kids typically learn these easily because kids love action! You can play a pantomime game in which your child chooses an action verb to silently demonstrate, like singing, running, sleeping, thinking, and sneaking foryou to guess. Take turns or set a timer for even more challenge!
Way #4: Learning Adverbs
Similar to adjectives, adverbs are words that describe or modify another word, only this time they modify verbs, not nouns. Students can remember what an adverb is because it is added to verb (ad + verb = adverb). Level up your verbs pantomime game for this part of speech by having game participants guess the adverbs being demonstrated along with the verbs. So, when your child pantomimes sleeping, he can act sleeping out lazily or restlessly or comfortably. Adding a timer for this one, too, makes learning grammar even more fun!
Way #5: Learning Prepositions
Prepositions show relation to or location of a noun in a sentence. There are 150 of them in the English language!Some examples of prepositions include behind, atop, above, and underneath. You can play the “Drive By Prepositions Game” anytime you are on the road. Give your child a preposition to explain with any scene he or she sees along the way, like:
There is a bird sitting atop the stop sign. A parking lot is behind the school. A cat is sitting underneath the tree.
Practice with activities like these will give your child the understanding and confidence he or she needs to solve the grammar puzzle!
Coming Soon: More ways to help kids fall in love with grammar for the pronoun, conjunction, and interjection parts of speech!
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