Play the Bag Game: Learn Parts of Speech
Parts of speech can be a difficult and dreary concept for many kids, but you can quickly turn that feeling around by creating this fun, easy, learning game your child will enjoy playing! After a few rounds, your kid won't even hesitate the next time he is asked to identify the different parts of speech in a sentence.
What You Need:
- 8 brown paper lunch bags
- Index cards
- Pen or pencil
What You Do:
- Go over the eight most common parts of speech with your child:
- Noun: a naming word. It names a person, place, thing, idea, living creature, quality, or action. Examples: cowboy, theater, box, thought, tree, kindness, arrival
- Verb: describes an action (doing something) or a state (being something). Examples: walk, talk, think, believe, live, like, want
- Adjective: describes a noun. It tells you something about the noun. Examples: big, yellow, thin, amazing, beautiful, quick, important
- Adverb: usually describes a verb. It tells you how something is done. It may also tell you when or where something happened. Examples: slowly, intelligently, well, yesterday, tomorrow, here, everywhere
- Pronoun: used instead of a noun, to avoid repeating the noun. Examples: I, you, he, she, it, we, they
- Preposition: usually comes before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. It joins the noun to some other part of the sentence. Examples: on, in, by, with, under, through, at
- Conjunction: joins two words, phrases or sentences together. Examples: but, so, and, because, or
- Interjection: an unusual kind of word, because it often stands alone. Interjections are words which express emotion or surprise, and they are usually followed by exclamation marks. Examples: Ouch!, Hello!, Hooray!, Oh no!, Ha!
- Prepare for the game by labeling each of the eight brown bags a different part of speech. Then, on index cards, have your child help you think of and write down 10–20 words, any words will do, for each category. Write only one word on each index card.
- Place the appropriate card in each bag that fits its part of speech.
- Pick out one word from each bag and use those words to build a long sentence. Each word used correctly in context wins a point for the player.
- Play until all cards are used up, or until one player manages to use every single part of speech in one sentence. The first person who can use all the parts of speech wins immediately; otherwise, victory goes to the highest point-getter. Note: you may need to conjugate the verb tense and/or include articles, such as, “a”, “the”, “an” to make the sentence complete. If this format is proving to be a little too tough, modify the game for your child by omitting some of the parts of speech at first, such as interjection, conjunction, and/or pronoun. As your child gains mastery over the more prominent parts of speech, slowly introduce the remaining parts of speech into the game.
- After you've built a few sentences, reverse the game! Dump all the words onto the table, scramble them up, and correctly place each word back into its corresponding bag.
Jane Oh has taught third and fourth grades for 8 years. She has worked with many diverse groups of students. Most recently, she has written teacher textbook guides.