Working with Middle Schoolers brings a lot of grammar to the forefront of your work day.  I had many students who came to me with goals to explain different parts of speech, locate various parts of speech, etc.  After working with the students, it became apparent that the most basic parts of speech were difficult.  Therefore, we started with nouns.  I came up with this visual aid to help them visualize the different kinds of nouns.  Again, I was trying to hit on as many learning styles (TVAK) as I could (If you are unsure what TVAK is, then click here to read my blog post about TVAK - it will change the way you think about teaching something - hopefully).

How did I make it?  I simply used google images to print the pictures.  I printed them on colored paper and then cut them out and glued them on white paper.   I was trying to show them that they are all nouns (the same color), but are distinctly different kinds of nouns (have their own section).  I used silhouette images, but you don't have to do that.  My explanations were tied directly to both the picture and what the noun was.

Proper Noun:  It's capitalized and kids can usually remember to capitalize names since they have to do that everyday with school (writing their names on their paper).  Therefore, I chose a person and had her say, "My NAME is Proper Noun" explaining that a proper noun is the NAME of a PERSON, PLACE, OR THING.  Giving them examples they would recognize is also important (name of their school, people's names, names of restaurants, name of companies - Nike, etc).

Adjective:  Adjectives describe nouns.  If describe is too hard of a word for the kids, then I explain that describing means to tell about something.  The sentence they should remember is, "Tell me about this noun using adjectives."  Therefore, my silhouette picture was of a thing (I found a candelabra, but anything can be used) and I wrote all kinds of adjectives around it DESCRIBING the picture.  Again, giving them descriptions of things they see in the room or what they are wearing helps the adjectives become more real for them.

Pronouns:  Pronouns seem to the hardest for kids.  With this one I chose the silhouette of a house (again, anything could be used).  The sentence paired with the picture is, "The house is a pronoun" with "the house" crossed out and "it" written above.  This shows them that a pronoun replaces a noun.  Therefore, the sentence is part of the picture description.

I'd love to hear from you and find out which pictures you choose and which ways you improve upon my idea that I came up with during one speech session!

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