You've packed up the kids, jackets, water bottles, tchotkes and all, and you're off for a special afternoon. Maybe you'll see a park; maybe a museum; maybe a special friend. Whatever it is, you know it will be fun, and you'll want to keep some memories. You might even want to send a few along, perhaps in a letter to a relative, or a thank you to a host. Here's a creative way to do it...while helping your second grader with some classic parts of the curriculum this year!
What You Need:
- Pencil or pens
- Booklet Paper
What You Do:
- Next time your child goes somewhere enjoyable—to the park, or on a day trip to a museum, explain that to add to the fun, you're going to collect words for what you see, hear, and feel. On the trip there, you have a perfect chance to review what we call some different kinds of words in our written language: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs. Second graders are studying all of them this year, and if you get a "we already know that!" go ahead and applaud; that's great news!
- As you're traveling, it helps to review these fundamental parts of speech, even if your child feels pretty confident. Here’s a list, and a brief description to get you going:
- Nouns: a person, place, thing (there are common nouns, which are not capitalized, and there are proper nouns, which are capitalized because they are names of people, places, or things). For example: cat, day, sound, coffee, bone, book (common nouns)
- Verbs: action words. For example: run, read, eat, skipping, jogged, loved, thought
- Adjectives: describing words. For example: green, round, shiny, tall, old, woodenbug
- Adverbs: words that describe verbs (many end in –ly) For example: quickly, busily, happily, angrily
- When you get to your destination, do like any typical tourist: take some pictures! Enjoy everything about your experience!
Then, on the way home or later that day, make your "Parts of Speech Travel Guide" for today. Have your child write the chosen part of speech vertically, in all capital letters, down the left side of the paper, as shown.
Now have your child create an acrostic poem about this word, using only words that are that particular part of speech. This means that for the first line, she will need to think of a noun that starts with the letter n, such as nest, net, or noodle. She writes her noun beside the capital letter N, and uses the capital N as the first letter. Then she goes on to the next line, and thinks of a noun that begins with the letter o, such as octopus, octagon, or ox. She continues in this way until all the vertical letters have been used.
Have her reread her NOUN (or verb, or adjective etc.) acrostic poem. Ask her to explain what all the words in the poem have in common. (They are all nouns, or they are all people, places, or things.)
Repeat for other parts of speech. Then, compile all the parts of speech pages into a stapled booklet with your favorite trip photo on top. You'll have a creative, unique "travel guide" memory of today's experience—a book to keep or to send to a relative or as a thank you to a host. You have also given your child a natural, memorable lesson in basics of language that she'll be using for the rest of her life. Not bad for one day's excursion!
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.