Hot Headlines

October 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

Want a quick way to review parts of speech? Have students do this as soon as they enter the classroom.  I use nouns here but you can easily adapt this to other parts of speech.  This will get them engaged and bustling instantly; and, it won’t take long to complete.

My very favorite team needs a win!!!

Before class, tape three front pages of newspapers (preferably color for appeal) at three different points of your blackboard so that you leave a ‘trail’ of paper for your students to follow.

Circle (in a bold color) the headlines and sub-headings.

On the board, mark the pages #1 Start here, #2 Do this next, and #3 End here

As students enter, have them bring their notebooks and pens with them to the board.  They are to write down all the nouns they find in the highlighted headlines and sub-headings.  (have these instructions written to the left of the first article)

Once they list their nouns, they should label them abstract or concrete.

When they return to their seats, compare how many nouns they each found.  This lends itself to a discussion of “the transformers” of our language, a.k.a. the fickle ones that are different parts of speech For example, win can be a verb as in “Despite the odds, the Cowboys need to win so they can play on their home turf for the Super Bowl.”  Win can also be a noun as in “The Cowboys need a win because they truly are a better team than their 1-4 record shows.”

Now the fun begins.  Ask which nouns are abstract.  Perhaps place a scale on the board with C (concrete) on the left and A (abstract) on the right.  For each individual word in question, ask them at one point on the scale each is.  Many words will initiate some interesting discussions.  For example, just how concrete is the word win?  It is not something we can physically touch yet can it be measured or quantified?

Bonus:  Pick articles that pertain to the current unit of study.  Sadly, most of our students don’t read the newspaper so this is a great way to sneak it in.