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Curricula and Learning Links - Language Arts

Games to Help Teach Grammar

Try these simple games to learn the parts of speech.

Word Brainstorm: This is a good activity to do in the car or when you are waiting somewhere. Mom says, "Name some nouns that go with grocery store." The kids then name everything they can think of in or around a grocery store. Then Mom says, "Give me some proper nouns for 'girl'." The kids then name every female they know. For verbs, Mom can ask for ways to go from here to (pick a point), and the kids might say slither, hop, skip, jump, crawl. Then Mom can ask them to name adverbs to say HOW to go from here to the point picked before. For prepositions, Mom can pick something in sight like a lake, building, or tree, and ask what prepositions could go with it. Once the children get the hang of it, let them take turns leading.

Sentence Builder: Mom makes a short sentence like "The chicken ate a seed." Ask each child to add a part of speech (by name) or prepositional phrase, and then repeat the sentence. This activity will help their listening skills and memory as well as their grammar skills! Also, building sentences like this will greatly improve their creative writing when they are ready.

Big Bucks Writing: Have the child write a short story or paragraph using the words they have thought of in Word Brainstorm or Sentence Builder. Go through the paper and select words to rate as fifty cent, one dollar, or five dollar words. A fifty cent verb might be "walk" as in "The chicken walks across the road." A one dollar verb might be in the sentence, "The chicken scampered across the road." A five dollar sentence could be "The speckled chicken scampered frantically across the busy highway." Total up the dollar amount, and see if the child can beat his score the next day.

Word Treasure Hunt: After the child has written a paragraph or story, have him go back through and circle all the nouns, for example. If you want him to start making more descriptive sentences, have him circle all the adjectives. Praise him for having more than in previous efforts.