teaching exchange...
Download this lesson plan and its components to your desktop computer. You can save these files to your desktop computer, then edit them, print them, or email them to your class. When you open these files on a handheld computer, they are automatically converted to handheld versions.

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Download Colorful Speech Handout

Download Colorful Speech Discourse Frames (See Instructions for help importing content into Discourse.)

Colorful Speech

Here's a quick way to brighten up a review of the parts of speech for your students by using Pocket Word. Students will color-code examples of the different parts of speech in sentences taken from The Secret Garden, an electronic book on your handheld computer. They then write their own sentences using their vocabulary words, exchange their files with a partner, and identify the parts of speech in their partner's sentences.

Grade Level(s)

Curriculum Area
English & Language Arts

Time Required
1 class period

Standards Connections
Materials/Resources Needed
Necessary Technical Skills
Student Activities

Standards Connections
  • National Standards:
    • Standards for the English Language Arts (NCTE/IRA), Standard 6: Knowledge of language structure, language conventions
  • State Standards:
    • California English Language Arts Academic Content Standards, 8th grade 1.3 Identify all parts of speech and types and structure of sentences.
    • See www.explorasource.com for more state standards connections.
  • District Standards (fill in your own)
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Students will:
  • Correctly identify the parts of speech in a sentence.
  • Write 3 sentences using as many of their vocabulary words as possible.
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Materials/Resources Needed
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Necessary Technical Skills
  1. Students must be able to open a Pocket Word document, change the color of the text (instructions are included in the Colorful Speech Handout), and save the file.
  2. Students must be able to beam and receive files. Refer to the User Guide for instructions if necessary.
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Student Activity
Step 1:

  1. Make sure that all your students receive a copy of the Colorful Speech Handout by beaming it to a few students and asking them to continue beaming it to their classmates until everyone has a copy.
  2. You may want to start this activity with a quick review of the parts of speech. List them on the board and ask students for a few examples of each.
  3. Go over the instructions included in the handout with the class. There is a completed example in the handout, and you may want to color-code the parts of speech in the first sentence together as a class.
  4. Allow students time to work through the rest of Step 1, and then review the answers.
  5. To get students to think about writing with more descriptive, varied language, ask them the following: How colorful are the sentences? Which sentences are more interesting to read? Why?
Step 2:
  1. Have students write their own sentences using their vocabulary words. Consider having a contest to see who can write the best sentences using the most vocabulary words. Or, if they have vocabulary words that can be used as more than one part of speech, encourage them to use the word each way in different sentences.
  2. When finished, make sure students save their files, adding their initials to the end of the filename as they do so.
Step 3:
  1. Ask students to exchange files with a partner. Partners should color code the parts of speech in each other's sentences. This is also a good opportunity for students to practice peer editing.
  2. Once they are done color-coding their partners' work, have students beam the files back to their partner.
Step 4:
  1. Students should open the file containing their own sentences (now color-coded) and review their partner's work. If their partner made a mistake in one of the sentences, they should be sure to correct it.
  2. Have students beam you their files when they're finished.
Step 5:
  1. After students have finished color-coding the sentences, use Discourse to assess what they learned from the activities. Download the Colorful Speech Discourse Frames and import them into your copy of Discourse Teacher.
  2. Revise and edit the questions and answers to suit your objectives.
  3. Ask your students to open Discourse and connect to your computer. Keep the following tips in mind when using these Discourse frames with your students:
    1. The first two frames contain information that you can use at your discretion. The first is a simple list of the parts of speech taught in this lesson. You can use the WebTravel feature in the second frame to take students to a website about the parts of speech.
    2. Allow students to progress through the rest of the frames in Self-Paced Mode, and click the Class Summary button so that you can assess their understanding as they complete each question.
    3. If the majority of students are having trouble identifying certain parts of speech, click the Wait button and take time to reteach the concept. When you are ready for students to continue working in Discourse, click the Wait button again.
    4. After reviewing a concept that the majority of students had trouble answering, you may want to ask them a related question "on the fly" to assess whether they understood your review. To do so, switch from Self-Paced Mode to Social Mode by clicking the Social Mode button. Make sure that you are in the Content view by clicking the Content button. Next, click Frame>New Frame to insert a blank frame, type in your question and answer, then publish the frame. If you are satisfied with their answers, return the class to Self-Paced Mode and allow them to continue with the review.
    5. Frames 17 through 22 contain open-ended questions that you can use for discussion.
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