View Full Version : Nouns, Verbs & Adjectives...oh my!

05-15-2011, 12:35 PM
My son is 7 and we seem to have a mental block in terms of identifying what is a noun versus a verb or an adjective. He knows that a nouch is a person, place or thing...that a verb denotes action...and that an adjective describes. But he just can't seem to pick which one is the correct "label" for a word. I'm about to scream in frustration, so I'm asking for help. Anyone have a similar situation...and how did you "break thru"?

He reads on a 5th grade level and does 3rd grade math, so he is very bright -- but we are both almost in tears that he cannot identify a noun/verb/adjective when asked.

SURELY there has to be a simple way of producing an "Ah HA!" moment....Suggestions?

Pam in TN

05-15-2011, 01:07 PM
Is he interested in learning a foreign language? That's how I learned a lot of my grammar and my son has a much better grasp of the parts of speech since he started Latin.

Also, MadLibs!

05-15-2011, 01:26 PM
Have you checked out the books like Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? (http://www.amazon.com/Hairy-Scary-Ordinary-Adjective-Categorical/dp/1575055546/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1305480073&sr=8-4) We really enjoyed them and had fun playing with words after reading them.

Accidental Homeschooler
05-15-2011, 02:22 PM
Both my kids learned noun, verb, adjective and adverb with mad libs. We bought them for something to do on a plane trip and by the time we arrived they had them down and it was fun too! We did this with my older daughter when she was five or six and again for my younger daughter more recently.

05-15-2011, 02:38 PM
My son is learning through Mad Libs and the game Very Silly Sentences.

Stella M
05-15-2011, 06:18 PM
Ds and I invented a ditty to help him with this.

A noun is the name of a person, place or thing.
A verb is a doing word.
An adjective describes.
An adverb adds information.

We say it in a funny way :) He knows it off by heart now so if he ever gets stuck on which is which, he just thinks of the line in the ditty.

05-15-2011, 07:29 PM
we're also doing mad libs. When we first started, i was pulling my hair out . . . but after doing them occasionally for a few months, he started to get the hang. Really, just because he's reading at a high level, doesnt mean you have to accellerate his grammar. No educational emergencies! He WILL get it!

05-15-2011, 09:48 PM
Mad Libs here also.
My kids LOVE the old School House Rock videos. They had all of the parts of speech down before they were really introduced to them. ;)
I agree, just because his reading is ahead doesn't mean that grammar has to be there. If he continues to have problems grasping it, I would back off and reintroduce it in a few months and then again if he still had problems until he does get it.

05-15-2011, 10:08 PM
Is there anything better than Schoolhouse Rock for teaching these?? Okay...maybe it's just me. But growing up I learned things so much easier when they were put to music!! http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/curriculum/schoolhouserock/language_shr.htm

05-15-2011, 11:00 PM
M.L. Nesbitt has a great book called Grammar-Land. You can either buy it at Amazon ... or ... get this! ... get it free online. Google grammarland and you should be able to find some links to PDF files you can download.

We have read GrammarLand and we LOVED it! A great, gentle way to introduce grammar to younger kids and a great review for older kids (and Mom :)).
Somewhere on my blog is a short review of it.

05-16-2011, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the tips! I watched the Schoolhouse Rock videos this morning. MAN, that brings back memories! I'm 41 years old and somehow remember almost all the words to the songs. Talk about lasting impressions, huh? (But I do feel old when they talk about putting a dime in the record-machine. hehehe)

I'm going to get DS to watch them, and we're also going to check on some Mad Libs if I can get some cheap. Maybe Ebay?

Thanks again!!

05-16-2011, 09:27 AM
Mad libs are cheapest in stores - i picked up several at 5 below. Its really not worth getting them shipped - although I did get one or two from amazon before I realized how easy they were to find locally. but do check them before you buy them - i ended up getting one which was all about historical figures - not something that made much sense to my 7 yo

05-16-2011, 09:36 AM
My 8 yo does not understand MadLibs at all. He's generally so literal he just can't make them silly, or understand the point. I think they seem fun, but they definitely don't work for us.

When we were talking about parts of speech recently, I pulled out his magnetic poetry set and gave him a huge cookie sheet. I had him find a bunch of adjectives and then make sentences using them; he could make them silly or not as he wished. He loved it and it was a fun reinforcement of how to build sentences and add detail.

05-16-2011, 03:17 PM
My 7 yo doesnt read yet. He LOVES the humor, tho I do have to encourage him to use silly words. He also uses his picture dictionary, turns to a page with a big themed picture (like park words, color words, etc) and gets ideas from the book. Which can get pretty repetitive.

05-17-2011, 02:59 AM
Here's how I'm helping my daughter (8), who's learning the same thing. She usually helps me fix supper, so we play a game. First we play nouns - we pick a letter and take turns saying nouns with that letter. Whoever says a word that isn't a noun is disqualified. Then we play verbs and adjectives. Sometimes we modify the game - instead of everyone using the same first letter, you have to use the last letter of the previous word as the first for yours. I'm not sure how this alteration will work in English, though.
My daughter has a competitive gene, so this works for her.

05-19-2011, 04:46 AM
We have struggled with this. Since 3rd year ele (aged 7) in Italian state schools the kids are expected to do a complete grammar analysis. Eg (he) went, verb (to go), 1st conj., mode INDICATIVE, tense PAST SIMPLE, 3rd person singular. They are given complete sentences to dissect for both grammar and logical analysis.

To say I have come to tearing my hair out is an understatement when he couldn't even get off the starting blocks by deciding if it was a noun, verb, adjective, adverb etc.

What did the trick was making reference cards that were available to him to give him a sense of security.

There was one card for each "type" of word. They included the part of speech (eg noun), some examples (ball, dog, love), an explanation (a thing, a person, a place) and hints (can you put "a" "the" "some" in front of it ?). I noticed that it was the addition of the "hints" above all else that appeared to make the most difference from the start. It acted like a hook\strategy that he could hang onto in order to succeed, and success let his confidence grow, thus taking some pressure off and allowed the concepts to be absorbed.

Between that and some interactive practice we got past the block. It took time, patience and being willing to let him use the props until he stopped referring to them off his own bat, because the answers came without the need to refer to his "security blanket".

You might want to check out this http://www.compare4kids.co.uk/literacy.php

Access to the parts of speech you are focused on is free.


05-19-2011, 11:47 AM
We have a print out from Scholastic that we use as a reference (I have no idea how i found it or I would link to it)

but along with ad libs we also play this "Scattegories" type game where we have the different word types on a card and then a card for each letter (you can make this with blank note cards-I found the game at the dollar store)

You flip over a word type and then a letter and then everyone has to write as many words that fit that category as they can think of. It's fun! It came with a timer but you can always make up your own rules.