Author: Lerato Tsotesi (South Africa) | Published on 1 March 2023


Today we are going learn how to break up sentences into parts of speech. We are working on three parts of speech: nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Stage 1: Prepare 

Draw a big robot (traffic light) on the board or Place a big picture of a robot on the board. 

Have your strips of paper ready. Have your primary colour pens, permanent markers, crayons and scissors ready.

Stage 2: Model 

Explain that each colour of the robot (red, orange and green) represents a part of speech:  red is a noun, orange is an adjective and green is a verb (because green means go).

Write a sentence on a strip of paper.

         Jim kicks a red ball.

Ask learners this question:

  1. Which word is a noun?

Cut out the word and place it on the red colour on the robot.

  2. Which word is an adjective

Cut it out and place it on the orange colour on the robot.

 3. Which word is a verb?

Cut it out and place it on the green colour on the robot.

Every sentence you build must have all colours of the robot to show the parts of speech in your sentence.

Teacher takes down the words from the robot and rebuilds the sentence again.

Stage 3: Practice 

Put the learners in groups of 4.

Say: “Write a meaningful sentence on the strip of paper.”

Group members take turns to repeat what they did in Stage 2.

Learners practise. Teacher instructs, circulates, monitors and helps.

Stage 4: Extend

  • Have learners practise the activity in their groups.
  • Have learners use coloured pens, crayons and coloured permanent markers. Remind learners to use the colours of the robot – red, orange and green.
  • Say: “Write your own sentences but remember to use the correct colours for the parts of speech.” 
  • Have learners cut out the parts of their sentences and put them back together again.
  • Remind the learners to use all three colours for all three parts of speech for their sentences. 

Stage 5: Consolidation Activity

Learners do individual activities.

Say: “Circle the different parts of speech using the three colours of the robot.”


This activity can also be used for higher grades. Instead of a robot you can use a rainbow and add more colours to represent more parts of speech. For example, purple can be a preposition, pink can be a conjunction etc. Learners connect a part of speech to a colour and their sentences will represent a rainbow. Remind the learners to use as many colours (= as many parts of speech) as possible in their sentences. 

Not only will the learners learn a fun way of doing parts of speech, but your classroom word wall will be full of colourful flashcards.


Noun: A word for a person, place or thing.

Adjective: A describing word.

Verb: An action word.

Instruct: To tell someone what to do.

Circulate: Move around the classroom.

Monitor: Keep an eye on learners to see how well an individual or groups are doing a task.

Consolidation: A single activity that brings together earlier tasks.