Elementary Grammar: Learning Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Other Parts of Speech

Learning the various parts of speech can be difficult for third to sixth grade students. Read on to gain an in depth understanding of the grammatical classifications your elementary student is expected to know and how to help him or her master the concepts.

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The parts of speech are typically taught to students in grades three through six. An explanation for each grammatical classification, along with examples, is included below to help parents children their children grammatical lessons.

  • Verb: Expresses actions, events or states of being. For example, in the sentence 'Billy throws the ball,' 'throws' is the verb.
  • Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, phrase, clause or another adverb. Adverbs can be found in various parts of a sentence but usually ends with '-ly.' For example, in the sentence 'Billy quickly throws the ball,' 'quickly' is the adverb.
  • Noun: Used to name an abstract idea, animal, person, place or thing. Sentences typically contain more than one noun. For example, in the sentence 'Billy met his friends at the zoo,' the words 'Billy,' 'friends' and 'zoo' are all nouns.
  • Pronoun: A word that replaces a noun to prevent repetition of the same words. For example, in the sentence 'He was glad they enjoyed looking at exotic animals,' the words 'he' and 'they' are pronouns replacing the nouns 'Billy' and 'friends.'
  • Adjective: Describes or quantifies a noun or pronoun. Adjectives usually precede the word they are modifying. For example, in the sentence 'Billy washed his aqua shirt at the laundromat,' the word 'aqua' is an adjective that modifies 'shirt.'
  • Preposition: Acts as a link between nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. For example, in the sentence 'Billy washed his aqua shirt at the laundromat,' the word 'at' is the preposition.
  • Conjunction: Also serve as a link between words or phrases. Sometimes conjunctions also act as prepositions or adverbs. For example, in the sentence 'Billy swims at the pool but not at the lake,' the word 'but' is the conjunction.
  • Interjection: Conveys emotion in a sentence. For example, in the sentence 'Ouch, I stubbed my toe,' 'ouch' is the interjection.

One way a parent can help their child to master the parts of speech is by creating a grammar poster. Ask your child to create this chart with you. By writing out definitions and examples of the grammatical parts of speech, the elementary student will reinforce the concepts in his mind. When working on this project, discuss the various grammatical concepts with your child. If they seem to be confused about any of the classifications, try to demonstrate as many examples as possible. If your child's elementary school issues English textbooks, you can find some lessons in the book that would help your child better understand these parts of speech.

Try telling a story to your child without adjectives. Ask if the story sounded different or 'strange'. Encourage your elementary student to discuss what was missing and how it affected the story. Tell the story again adding five to ten adjectives. See if your child noticed a difference and was able to locate which words were the adjectives. Once your child has mastered this activity, ask him or her to write a story without adjectives. When they're finished, read it to see how they did.

Teachers should encourage parents to participate and offer them further suggestions for fun activities that build grammar skills. There are websites that offer help to elementary students who struggle with grammar or other reading skills. These sites range from government sites to online magazines and other private ventures. While many sites are credible and very useful for children, some contain incorrect information. It's vital that parents monitor and choose only those sites they are certain will be suit the needs of their child. Internet tutoring programs can also be very effective and feature state-certified teachers. No matter what, it's important to understand what your child is supposed to be accomplishing in school each day. Participating in your child's education is the single best way to help them learn.

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