Author: Nyengiwari Mabel Ipalibo-Osokolo | Published on 1 March 2024


Read what Mabel says about this activity: 

Teaching grammar has many challenges and it can be difficult for our learners to identify the parts of speech. One way you can help them is by contextualising the grammar in short passages or texts so they can see how the grammar is used in real life.

Stage 1: Preparation

Before the lesson choose a text. This could be from a text book you are using or from an authentic material you have written for the purpose of the class. Make sure it’s not too long or demanding. 

Then in class, after setting the topic of the lesson, ask your learners to read the passage and answer some basic comprehension questions

Stage 2: Introduction

Set the topic of the lesson by asking some questions about the topic. For example, if the text is about a journey, ask: Have you been on a long journey before? Where did you go? Who with?

Stage 3: Reading

To contextualise the grammar and give the learners the opportunity to see it used in a real text, share the reading and ask some basic comprehension questions. You could repeat the questions you asked in the introduction. For example, is the text about a long or short journey? Where did they go? Who with? 

Stage 4: Noticing

Ask the learners to find the grammatical element you want to focus on in the text and find examples. For example, 

  • Find five nouns in the passage. 
  • Identify five verbs in the second paragraph. 
  • Locate three adjectives in the passage. 
  • Find two adverbs in the passage. 

If you ask them to find different parts of speech (e.g. nouns and verbs), you could ask them to highlight them in different colours or in different ways, such as underlining or circling.

Stage 5: Practice

Next, get the students to practice using the grammatical elements. They could do this by:

a) Sentence building: ask the students to write a sentence related to the lesson topic with two nouns, or one using an adjective to describe a person, place or a thing. 

b) Student Made Gap Fill: ask the students to create sentences where they leave gaps for the other students to complete. For example, they could leave the verb space blank, and then ask the other students to provide the correct tense or verb. 

c) Students write sentences for other students, then read the sentences and identify the parts of speech used.

d) Sentence Scramble: provide a set of words that form a sentence when grammatically arranged. For example, party went he a to. The students unscramble the words to form grammatically correct sentences.

Stage 6: Further Practice - Chain Story

Divide the class into groups and have them create a story using different grammatical elements. Ensure the topic is the same as the initial one in the introduction (e.g. a journey) Each member of the group is encouraged to contribute to the story. One writes a sentence, and then the next student writes the next one until all have written. The group swaps stories and reviews the grammatical elements each group has used. To make it more fun, you can provide a range of words for students to use in creating the story.