Grammar for Homeschool
Teaching the Parts of Speech
Although teaching grammar has become slightly old fashioned, most home educators still want to incorporate at least the very basics of the parts of speech into their language arts curriculum. Here is a collection of some of the best resources available to make learning English grammar interesting and memorable. Many of them can be found free online, so with just a little bit of planning, you can develop a very low cost homeschool grammar curriculum.
Using Grammarland Novel - To Teach the Parts of Speech
Grammarland by M. L. Nesbit is a living book in the public domain (published 1878). The children of Schoolroomshire participate in a court proceeding of Grammarland and learn all about the parts of speech and the rules of grammar that govern them.
Each part of speech is personified and makes an appearance at court. Their personalities and behaviors reflect their functions in this allegorical tale.
I would recommend this book for ages eight to twelve with the parent reading out loud to the child, discussing as you read. Children over twelve could enjoy this book independently. At the end of most chapters there are small assignments to label the parts of speech of a small passage.
The quaint black and white images of the parts of speech on this page all come from this book.
Would you like some free printables, specially made for Grammarland? Here are two sources:
2. Free printable notebooking pages from God's Gems.
More Tools for Teaching Grammar
The Homeschool Classroom shares some tips for Teaching Grammar Without Requiring Writing. This is a must read, especially if your children dislike handwriting.
Listen to The Language Police online for free. This silly song will help you learn the parts of speech.
Garden of Praise offers an entire grammar package including songs set to familiar tunes, printables, and suggestions for teaching the parts of speech.
Make your own reference guide to the parts of speech. A layered book would be perfect! Crayola tells you how to do it.
Or visit Minibook Gallery for other types of minibooks.
Prefer notebooking? Then be sure to visit Notebooking Pages' free language arts resources. There are free printables for each part of speech
Links for Making a Grammar Lapbook - Ideas and Printables
- RETAIL -- Operation English Grammar Lapbook
This is a for purchase product. This Hands of a Child lapbook kit is a thorough look at grammar for children Read a review of this product at The Curriculum Choice
- EXAMPLE --Grammar Lapbook Pictures
Wonderful example of a lapbook.
- EXAMPLE --Grammar Lapbook Blog Entry
No printables but lots of ideas here for making your own.
- PRINTABLES --Language Arts Printables from Busy Teachers Cafe
Look for the link to the Grammar Booklet for a handy minibook template. Each page has a part of speech and its definition with space for the student to write examples. This page also has some parts of speech worksheets you may find useful.
- Homeschool Share Grammar Mini Books
Three minibook templates that go along with the story Grammarland: Adjective Endings, Adjective Pronouns, and Objective/Nominative Case.
Instant Books for Grammar
More Printable Grammar Helps
- Grammar Cheat Sheet
This document would be appropriate for middle school or high school students. It's an overview of the parts of speech and their various subgroupings (common and proper under nouns; transitive and linking under verbs, etc).
- Language Arts Forms
A nice collection of grammar printables shared by a homeschool mom.
- Printable Grammar Notebooking Pages
Look for the grammar notebooking pages.
Three Parts of Speech Grammar Poems
Free Printable Posters
Here are three different poems that can be used to learn about the parts of speech.
I found three different poems to help you learn the parts of speech. Each one is a bit different, so choose the one you like best, download the PDF, print it out, and teach it to your children. Click the image for a letter sized mini-poster. (An A4 alternative is also available.)
Besides hanging on the wall or putting into a notebook, these poem poems could be used for memorization or for copywork.
If you want the text of the poems to create your own printables, click here.
Charlotte Mason Styled Grammar and Language Arts
Charlotte Mason felt that grammar was best learned in the context of real language through the reading, dictating, and copying of literature passages. Here are some English curricula that fit with Charlotte Mason's gentle approach to language arts. For curriculum reviews of these and other (not necessarily CM styled) products, visit Home School Reviews.
For more details about a CM language arts, visit Eads Home Ministries.
Printable Parts of Speech Posters
For free printable parts of speech charts try these options:
Parts of Speech Poster Set
Let's Be Honest
Grammar can sometimes be dry. Spice it up with hands-on activities, games, songs, and videos. Remember that the more senses you can engage during the learning, the more retention (and usually the more enjoyment).
My daughter created this homemade board game with a grammar theme! Making it and playing it offer lots of enjoyable learning.
Make your own board games about grammar. This is a win-win situation because the child learns as he makes the game and then reviews as he plays the game!
Play some spoken games with your words! Teaching K-8 shares some clever verbal games that you could play even while riding in the car.
Word bags are another simple game idea that require only paper bags, paper, and pencil.
Parts of Speech Card Game is a free PDF to cut out and play. A reminder about words -- a word's part of speech can only be determined in context. So encourage your child to USE the word in a sentence to prove its part of speech. In other words, you may draw YELLOW and say that is an adjective. Yes, YELLOW can be an adjective. But it can also be a noun.
A Unique Grammar Game
The game highlighted below, You've Been Sentenced, reinforces grammar while making for a great family game night. You could probably make your own version of this game with just some index cards.
Awesome Hands-on Activities For Teaching Grammar
Let's Talk Grammar
Need more meat for thought? Here are blog posts & articles related to the topic of teaching grammar.
- Why Learn the Parts of Speech?
The Thinking Mother shares her doubts about the necessity of teaching grammar at all.
- Why Study Grammar
A more scholarly article than the previous link, this blog entry gives even more reasons to support the study of English grammar.
- Grammar Matters Yahoo Group
There's a website for everything and a Yahoo group for everything. This one is "for exchanging ideas and resources relating to teaching grammar in the elementary grades."
Is Grammar Necessary?
Many public schools have phased out the teaching of parts of speech in favor of the usage and mechanics of English. The thinking is that as long as you can use English, what difference does it make that you can label the parts of speech or diagram a sentence?
Does it matter if someone can't understand the humor in the cartoon below? Or is studying the parts of speech too old fashioned?
Online Tools for Learning Grammar - Games and Activities
Choose some of these online activities and games as an alternative to a paper and pencil worksheet.
- Harcourt Grammar Practice Park
Simple but well done games covering several parts of speech. For example, the noun game -- can you tell if the word is a common noun, proper noun, or not a noun at all?
- Grammar Gorillas
Review all the parts of speech through these interactive worksheets.
- Learning Planet
Games for three levels of learners.
- Madlibs -- E Style
Fill in the blanks and the online madlibs will create a silly story for you.
Text of Parts of Speech Poems
The Nine Parts of Speech
Three little words you often see,
Are articles - a, an, and the.
A noun's the name of anything
As school, garden, hoop, or swing.
An adjective tells the kind of noun -
Great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
Instead of nouns the pronouns stand -
Her head, his face, your arm, my hand.
Verbs tell of something to be done,
To read, sing, jump, or run.
How things are done the adverbs tell,
As slowly, quickly, ill, or well.
Conjunctions join words together,
As men and women, wind or weather.
The prepositions stands before
A noun, as at or through the door.
The interjection shows surprise,
As ah! how pretty --- Oh! how wise.
The whole are called nine parts of speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.
The poem The Nine Parts of Speech was written by Green Baker in 1865 or 1866.
THE PARTS OF SPEECH
Every name is called a NOUN,
As field and fountain, street and town;
In place of noun the PRONOUN stands
As he and she can clap their hands;
The ADJECTIVE describes a thing,
As magic wand and bridal ring;
The VERB means action, something done -
To read, to write, to jump, to run;
How things are done, the ADVERBS tell,
As quickly, slowly, badly, well;
The PREPOSITION shows relation,
As in the street, or at the station;
CONJUNCTIONS join, in many ways,
Sentences, words, or phrase and phrase;
The INTERJECTION cries out, 'Hark!
I need an exclamation mark!'
Through Poetry, we learn how each
of these make up THE PARTS OF SPEECH.
This second parts of speech poem is taken from Language and Grammar.
A NOUN'S the name of any thing;
As, school or garden, hoop, or swing.
ADJECTIVES tell the kind of noun;
As, great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
Three of these words we often see
Called ARTICLES -- a, an, and the.
Instead of nouns the PRONOUNS stand;
John's head, his face, my arm, your hand.
VERBS tell of something being done;
As, read, write, spell, sing, jump, or run.
How things are done the ADVERBS tell;
As, slowly, quickly, ill, or well.
They also tell us where and when;
As, here, and there, and now, and then.
A PREPOSITION stands before A NOUN;
as, in, or through, a door.
CONJUNCTIONS sentences unite;
As, kittens scratch and puppies bite.
The INTERJECTION shows surprise;
As O, how pretty! Ah, how wise!
This third parts of speech poem is taken from First Lessons in Language (also called Elements of English Grammar) by David B. Tower and Benjamin F. Tweed. (See pp. 27-28 for the poem.)