Lesson plan

Varsity Parts of Speech Review

By the upper grades, students are pretty familiar with nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This rich, engaging varsity-level review incorporates the lesser-studied parts of speech: articles, prepositions, adverbs, and superlative adjectives.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Parts of Speech that Describe pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Parts of Speech that Describe pre-lesson.

Students will be able to name and use articles, prepositions, adverbs, and superlative adjectives.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the class: What kind of work do you think you might want to do when you get older? What kind of impact do you want to have? Facilitate a brief discussion, sharing student ideas in small groups or as a class.
  • Explain that just as we have jobs that can impact our community, words have jobs that impact a sentence and ideas.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to work in pairs to name as many parts of speech as they can. As you call on students to share, create a list of each part of speech and its job description. (For example, a verb shows an action or state of being; a noun tells a person, place, or thing.)
  • Explain that in the primary grades, students learned about nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives. Today, they will learn advanced parts of speech.
  • Explain that an article is technically an adjective because it modifies a noun. "The" is a definite article because it defines a specific thing, like the bed or the girl. The two indefinite articles are "a" and "an." These are used when the noun is nonspecific.
  • Review examples of uses of these articles.
  • Explain that some adjectives' job is to compare. These are called comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives.
(40 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Who Will Score the Most? Comparative and Superlative Adjective Game. Go over instructions and play the game, providing the answers after each round.
  • Now touch on prepositional phrases. Explain that they function as a part of speech even though they are more than one word. Their job is to tell more about a noun or a verb. The easy rule of thumb is that they start with a preposition. The most commonly used ones are: "with," "of," "to," "for," "on," "by," "but," "up," and "through," and they are followed by a noun or pronoun. Write the examples on the board.
  • Write the sentence on the board: "The boy swam." Have students work in partners to craft three prepositional phrases that could be inserted into this sentence. Share examples by reading the new sentences aloud.
  • Tell students that the last part of speech that you'll learn is the adverb. Adverbs do the work of describing the verb, hence, adverb.
  • Explain that the most common use of adverbs is to tell more about how, when, or where something occurred.
  • Distribute the worksheet Adverbs: How, When, and Where. Read through the activity and, if you have time, have students cut out and sort the words. If you don't have time, students can simply write the words in the correct column.
  • Review the answers as a class.
(20 minutes)
  • Project page two of the worksheet Ad-Lib Stories: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives, Adverbs.
  • Explain that this activity is similar to the Mad Libs word game, but this activity will focus only on adjectives and adverbs. Go over the instructions and adverb examples as a class.
  • Generate more examples of each kind of adverb so that students aren't limited to the examples provided when doing the activity.
  • In pairs or small groups, have students complete the activity. Provide only the instructions, guide, and blank word prompt form. Keep the story hidden until students have generated all of the required words.
  • This activity can be recycled a few times, even after students know the story.


  • Complete a portion of the independent activities as a class to get students started.
  • Have students use the references on the worksheets as a guide.


  • Challenge students to play Short Sentence Taboo for an additional review of adjectives and adverbs.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the sentence on the board: "The dinner was the most delicious meal I ate yesterday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it on the roof."
  • Have students identify two articles, one prepositional phrase, one superlative adjective, and one adverb that shows to what extent.
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss: If you were a part of speech, what part of speech would you be and why? What part of speech would you want your best friend to be?

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