Any suggestions on teaching adverbs to 8th graders? A way to make it fun and not boring. I have four classes. One of which is advanced. They look at me like I'm growing two heads!! I don't want to do the same old "book" work anymore. I want some jazz, energy, SOMETHING besides the bored look!!
I teach 4th but I'm sure any kid would love this and "get it". You could easily adapt to your guys' maturity level.
I just take a simple sentence like, "She walked into the room _______ ." and have them add an adverb. Then I let a student act it out. slowly, sadly, joyously, excitedly, solemnly (sp?) etc. They get up and walk into the room in a manner that shows the adverb.
You could make it into a charades activity.
You could tie it in with inferences and character development to show them how the person is feeling based on the adverbs that are used to describe their actions.
You could make up a short paragraph - mad-lib style where all the blanks have to be filled in with adverbs. Then give each group a different situation or emotion and have them fill in all the adverbs accordingly.
(Does that make sense??) Everyone gets the same
"Joey woke up _______ on Monday morning. He _______ got out of bed. He went downstairs ______ and greeted his mom _______.
One group gets "Joey is excited about his first baseball game." so they would fill in the blanks with "excitedly" adverbs.
Another group gets "Joey is dreading his first day of school in his new town." so they would fill in the blanks with "slowly, quietly" etc.
A few years ago, students made "Adverb Spotting" booklets. They had the questions that adverbs answer like "How", etc, on two pieces of construction paper stapled to make a book. As they were reading, they were to jot down adverbs that they came across.
I used this lesson with my middle schoolers. I made index cards of about 20 vebs and 20 adverbs. I put themin two teams. The first person had to act out the verb for one point (easy) then they had to act out the verb with the adverb for 2 points. If they could not guess it after 45 seconds,the other team got a chance to earn the two points. They really loved this. I saw this on another website and it sounded like everybody who tried it had success. Good luck
is usually a lot of useless information that we present to our kids and then we get frustrated when they don't "get it." Have you ever noticed how many kids just never get that POS stuff? Being able to identify an adverb is okay, but how does that improve reading or writing? Do I have to know what an adverb is before I can use one?
If I really wanted them to get adverbs, though, or any part of speech, I would do it within the context of their own reading and writing. Doing this in isolation is usually just a big waste of a class period. Mad libs are fun, but I've never noticed that they're anything but a good time. I have never seen kids learn their POS from Mad Libs.
They're looking at you like you have two heads because they're advanced and they're trying to figure out why they have to learn this meaningless stuff. If I'm after jazz and energy with a class, then POS instruction would be the LAST thing I would do with them. How about having them read and write? POS instruction is only sort of academic, but actually reading and actually writing is what will help kids. I'm serious. There is no way I would spend time on identifying adverbs. That's just not information they need in order to be readers and writers. All POS instruction teaches is POS, and as you've seen, it doesn't even teach that well.
Perhaps time is better spent in reading and writing. However, on district and state tests, students are expected to be able to identify POS. Sooo, if you don't help them learn to identify each POS, how can they be sucessful on the test! There is so much talk about the "new" teaching methods and teaching within context. It's amazing how all the old methods of drill and practice have become frowned upon. Yet, the generation who grew up with this methods are much better readers, writers, spellers, etc.! Just a thought!
but I have found it most helpful to teach the parts of speech, both in and out of context. For example, when I am working with vocabulary, I may be teaching the word "elude" - a verb. I may ask then to write a sentence using the word as an adjective - "elusive." How can you work with the parts of speech in context if you don't know how to identify one when you see one.
Another example - a writing rule in my classroom is that you may not use a pronoun before stating its antecedent. How can you do this without being able to identify them in the first place?
that your state test emphasizes POS so much. My state will only ask about four of those questions. Thank goodness, it appears that here, we concentrate more on academics than POS. Any test that requires a teacher to spend a lot of time on parts of speech is not testing actual learning, that's for sure. And of course, if we're teaching to a test like that, well, our kids probably aren't learning much. Bummer. Sucks to be those kids.
jersey--what you're talking about, though, is in context, and has the aim, and outcome, of improving writing. That's completely different. That's not just identifying adverbs to identify adverbs. In isolation, there is absolutely no point to that lesson. What you're doing is different because it's in context, and it will improve their writing. You're not just identifying adverbs. But I am also sure that I can teach pronouns and antecedents without using either word. It wouldn't be hard, but I probably WOULD use those words, mainly so they can have "antecedent" in their vocabulary. What a cool word. But I don't have to use either word.
My content partner spent four months last year on POS--FOUR MONTHS!!! Not only did her kids NOT learn the material, the test hardly even asked for it. Did she learn anything from that? No. I walked by her room yesterday and she was droning on about prepositions. Of the four questions that our state test asks about POS, prepositions aren't even mentioned! And if she walks up to me one more time in the hall and whines about her kids not learning their POS, I am going to choke her.
I disagree with the assertion that "the old methods of drill and practice have become frowned upon. Yet, the generation who grew up with this methods are much better readers, writers, spellers, etc.!" You would have to show me the research that backs that up, and you know what? It doesn't exist. Students TODAY read and write at a MUCH higher level than their predecessors--MUCH higher--and you can look to NCTE and the IRA for the research that supports that. My goodness, thirty years ago, we graduated far fewer students than we do today and the expectations on those kids was not anywhere close to the expectations they have today. And I know this, because I'm someone who graduated from high school 36 years ago. I was there. It just isn't true. 36 years ago, you could slack your way through school (hmmn, and they were teaching POS like there was no tomorrow). What's interesting to me, though, is that sentiment coming from a teacher. That's exactly what Bush and his cronies asserted when they authored NCLB!! EXACTLY!!!! It's not true when George Bush says it, and it's not true when someone else says it either. And it's not true because of the much better instructional practices which have come into play over the last thirty years, and one of those practices is skills in context only, and not teaching kids a lot of useless information. Oh, I know, let's really go hogwild and let's teach diagramming next! We can really start wasting their time now!
BTW, I have both a bachelor's and a master's degree in English. Folks, when even people with years and years of English under their belt don't see the point, it's because there isn't one. It's just always so amazing to me when teachers ignore research they don't happen to like. Amazing.
Last edited by maryteach; 10-23-2008 at 07:56 PM..
Just an observation....
I've been teaching awhile and have noticed a decline in just about everything from handwriting to knowing when to put a period and a capital letter. I teach 6th graders and feel overwhelmed with the amount of things they don't seem to know. I do spend time talking about each of the parts of speech....not classes and classes but just a mini-lesson over each. I think it is important, not for the state test, but because kids need to know. If you know what nouns and verbs are then you can figure out if you have written a complete sentence by making sure you've included both. Teaching adjectives and adverbs help kids know how to put the icing on the cake, so to speak, so they can be better writers who write more descriptive sentences. We need for kids to have a common language so that if I say, "add some description with adjectives and adverbs" there's not just a big "say what??" in the classroom.
So maybe your coworker that makes you cringe just has a different philosophy of teaching than you do or a different style. As long as it gets the job done then that is all that matters.
For teaching adverbs I show grammar rock, tell them about ly, and mention that adverbs go with verbs and answer How, When, and Where. For the assignment, on the next writing peice, I would have them use adjectives and adverbs in their writing and would include this on my rubric.
I think you've got some anger issues. I remain deeply grateful to the teachers who had the patience and inspiration to teach the parts of speech and, yes, how to diagram sentences. My kids find it plenty jazzy to have that kind of power. Their language is theirs to own.
What seems "sad" to me is that we can't realize that it takes all kinds of teachers, all kinds of styles, pedagogies, learning modalities, etc. to make a well-rounded instructional system. Going to the extreme of saying that all of the POS teaching is essentially useless is just about as silly as saying that the "drill and kill" approach to POS is the only way to do it. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and highly dependent on context, student learning style, and a dozen other variables. Taking an extremist stance is close-minded at best. For God's sake, haven't we learned after so many years of teaching that any time the pendulum swings far left OR right, it's usually a very short-lived trend? The most success seems to result from a marriage of the two. Example: phonics vs. whole language.
Hello??????? Sound familiar??????