My colorful sister is jogging

Or as a subtitle: Nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

Throughout the year so far, my classes have done different lessons using nouns, verbs and adjectives. I’d been thinking about doing this activity for a while and thought it would be a good way for my 1st – and 2nd – graders to put all these concepts together. This lesson was inspired by a few different ideas on Pinterest that I sort of combined to make this activity (thanks, Pinterest!).

To prepare, I took three sheets of colored paper and cut the same number of strips from each one. I chose a color for each concept (light blue for nouns, teal for verbs and orange for adjectives).I taped one strip of each color on the board and wrote NOUN, VERB, and ADJECTIVE above the strip with the color I had chosen for that concept.

When the kids came in, I had us review nouns, verbs and adjectives. I asked for examples of each thing and wrote them on the board. Then, I explained that I would pass out strips of paper to everyone. Depending on what color they got, they needed to write a noun, verb or adjective on their piece of paper. For the younger kids I left the examples we had thought of on the board so they could have some ideas of what to write. When they were finished, I collected the papers and sorted them by color.

Now for the fun part! I randomly chose a strip of paper from each category and created a sentence using the three words. Some of the phrases were pretty normal, like “My amazing parents are talking.” But we also ended up with things like…

My colorful sister is jogging.

The pink boy is running.

The colorful airport is playing.

The weak North Carolina is reading.

The bossy restaurant learns.

My loving mom is jamming.

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The kids thought the ridiculous sentences were pretty funny and I think they liked seeing how the word they had written became part of a larger sentence. I then let them choose which sentence they liked the best, write it down and draw a picture of it in their notebooks. Some of the kids wanted to make up their own sentences and I said that was fine as long as they included a noun, verb and adjective.

About a week after I did this lesson, I had a free class period for first grade where I was planning to let them choose a game to play. I wrote things like Sparkle and board races on my whiteboard so they could vote for what they wanted to play. I asked if there were any other options we needed to include and one kid said, “Hey, can we do that game with ‘the pink boy is running’?”

I was so excited he remembered that lesson and wanted to do it again! I added it to our list of games and it got the majority of the votes.

[If you do this with your class, there are a couple of things that I would advise. First, make sure the kids know they shouldn’t write any adjectives that are rude or mean. Tell them that if they do, you will change it to something different. Next, if you let them write down names of people in class for their noun, quickly pre-read what adjective and verb you pick to go with the name. If it’s something that would embarrass the student, look for a different word or make up your own. The kids in my classes seemed to enjoy seeing their or their classmates’ names included in our made-up sentences but I tried make sure it was in a positive light 🙂 ]

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