Teaching the Parts of Speech, Nouns

You can look over some example of each of the parts of speech here.  However, if you are using this to teach your student (and I would do this around 9 or 10 years of age, although children *can* learn it younger, I think their time is better spent on other things), I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on the names.  I’d just tell him that we divide up the words used in English sentences into 8 categories, and the categories have names, and here are those names, but don’t worry about memorizing this list yet.  Let’s work on it one category at a time.

This week/ the next two weeks/ this month, we’re going to look at the category called nouns.

1. In the English Language there are Eight kinds of Words, called The Parts of Speech.
These are-1. Noun. 2. Verb. 3. Pronoun. 4. Adjective.
5. Adverb. 6. Preposition. 7. Conjunction. 8. Interjection.
2. A Noun is the name of any person, animal, place, or thing ; as, James, the name of a person. Horse, the name of an animal. Town, the name of a place. Pen, the name of a thing.

Perhaps ask your young scholar to tell you to give you another noun, or a ask for some specific sorts- the name of a person, the name of a thing, the name of a place. That’s enough for the first day. The next day ask your scholar to tell you everything remembered about the part of speech called nouns. Then spend a few moments picking out some nouns from a page in one of the books you’re reading.

Do this two or three different times, never spending more than five or ten minutes on finding nouns in a passage of reading.


Then try working a few minutes a day on the assignments from this page- they need not be written. You can do most of them orally.  You can do them while washing dishes together, while you are brushing the younger siblings’ hair or while you are driving to a music lesson, or while you are cutting up vegetables or peeling potatoes or folding clothes- “Tell me six nouns that are names of people.  Can you tell me six nouns that you might find in a story about football? Can you tell me six nouns that are places?  Name six nouns we can see in your bedroom.”  Again, this should not become tedious, don’t spend an hour on it, take it lightly, a little bit, steadily, regularly over time.


EXERCISE I. Name twenty four Nouns. 1. Six names of persons. 2. Six names of animals. 3. Six names of places. 4. Six names of things.
Point out Nouns, and say concerning each whether it is the name of a person, an animal , a place, or a thing.

1. The sun rose. The horse ran off. Mary’s lamb fol- lowed her to school. The teacher turned him out.

2. The boys were playing at football. A dog was crossing a stream. He saw his reflection in the water.

3. The hailstones rattled against the window. The ship sailed down the river. Ali Baba entered the cave.

4. He saw many bags of money. The eagle built his nest on a high crag.

(Continue this Exercise in the first twelve lines of the Reading Lesson).

Tell your students another important part of speech are words called ‘verbs,’ which are action words.  Ask your young scholars to make sentences using nouns with the following verbs.  For example:
Example : Flows : The river flows.

Sings, falls, walk, reads, slept, makes, gave, break, tells, carry, takes, plays, ran, gather, sent, comes, stands, gives, fell, sees, carries, sleeps, told, look, runs.

Spend a few minutes a day, or at least a few times a week, playing around with identifying nouns using activities like these. Don’t stress or fret over it, just treat it something like a game. If your child balks and wants to know more about why, you can tell him this will help with foreign languages, and that there are other good reasons for understanding this, but it will be easier to explain it once the student knows more, as of right now, he doesn’t possess enough information for an explanation to make complete sense.

from he Parts of Speech: an Easy Grammar for Beginners
By William Balfour Irvine, 1889

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Just for Fun

Got this from an old school magazine.  I wouldn’t necessarily use it for ‘school’ but sometime when the kids are bored, or you’re on a road trip, or it’s too hot to go outside and you just want to lie around doing almost nothing.


Variety Work

1 Write three words that end in y .

2 Write names of two yellow flowers .

3 Write names of two red flowers .

4 Write names of two animals having fur .

5 Write names of two animals having hair .

6 Put letters to old and make other words of it , such as g old t old s old etc .

7 Name three kinds of trees that grow near your home .

8 What stands for Doctor Mister Street .

9 Write names of four birds you have seen .

10 What color is your house?.

11 What animals dig holes in the ground to live in?.

12 Write five girls names .

13 Write five boys names .

14 Write three names for dogs .

15 Of what color are lemons?.

16 Of what color are ripe grapes? .

17 Write three words of four letters each .

18 Name five things that can jump .

19 Name something that likes to live in water.

20 Name three things you like to do .

21 Tell what cows are good for .

22 Name some animals that have hoofs.

Laura F Armtiage in American Teacher .

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PTSD: Therapy Post Update

I was looking up something else and happened to come across one of my older PTSD posts, and then that led to reading a couple others (and here and here).  It’s like reading somebody else’s writing, or reading something I wrote, but about a different person.

Moving to the Philippines is probably not the best idea for most people who are struggling with PTSD, but in my case, moving is my coping mechanism, Asia is my soul-mate, and getting a break from so many triggers which were unavoidable where we lived and aren’t an issue here (American highways, for one, having to drive to go anywhere, for another) was very helpful.  Also, I have access to free EMDR counseling here and I am taking advantage of it and it’s wonderful.

I’m pretty sure he’s cried twice, and he told me that he is astonished I never  went so far as to make any kind of suicide plan, let alone follow up, nor did I resort to substance abuse, which he considers equally remarkable given the weight and extremity and sheer horror of much of the stuff I’d been dealing with pretty much from a  few weeks after my birth.  Normally, you know, I’m cynical about this stuff and tell myself, “Yeah, but you’re paid to say that stuff.” But, in fact, he is not paid. And there were several minutes where he sat nearly speechless except for shaking his head and saying something like “Wow.  While there are a handful of stories worse than yours I’ve heard, there aren’t many, and this story is right up there with  the worst experiences I have heard in my practice, and I just have to tell you that you should really acknowledge how remarkable it is that you have survived at all, let alone as well as you have.”

When I  shared some of the stuff from this post, he shook his head all over again and pointed out that very probably the depth of it all as well as the recovery time were both complicated, harder, and lengthened by well-intentioned but nevertheless counter-productive and deeply harmful responses framed as attempts to ‘help.’  When we talked about growing up with a psychopath he mostly nodded along in understanding and acceptance and then once or twice stopped me and said something like, “What? Oh, Good Lord.”  There is something quite affirming about that, because when you grow up with a psychopath your sense of normal, your standard for reality, your ability to measure it on a scale of bad to awful- that is a little warped.   Things I knew were really unpleasant and hard and I had to think through them and decide I didn’t want to repeat them as a parent myself turn out to be things that normal people don’t ever even have to consider because they are obviously warped and twisted and bizarre and who would do that? Psychopaths, that’s who.  Things you process as you being complicit in on at least some level (even though you know in your head you weren’t) are rather shocking in reality.


Me: “I do have to admit I was a very stubborn and angry child and probably hard to deal with,” I say, without even realizing really the implications of what I am saying.

Reality: “Okay. Might we consider that maybe you had some excellent reasons to be angry and stubborn so this is not the cause, but the result?  And even insofar as it could be true, could we also consider that possibly that is what saved your life and kept you from choosing suicide or drugs to deal with the aftermath, which is what most people in similar situations end up doing?”

Me: “Isn’t that a kind of low bar?  I didn’t kill myself or do drugs. Yay, me?  It feels like something more should be required for success.”

Reality- “No.  No.  No.  Given your life history,survival is a success. It’s not a low bar.  In fact, the majority of people who grow up with similar experiences don’t manage that bar at all and their coping mechanisms  kill them.”

Me, again, because the self-blame is a hamster wheel: “Okay.  But I mean, I was a really, really stubborn uncooperative child.  I am sure it was hard.”

Reality:  Parenting is always hard.  But most parents don’t do that stuff.  And also,  however angry and stubborn you were, you understand we are speaking of a 2 year old being thrown across the room by an adult who weighs ten times more than she did and is about 3 times taller, and who had a moral obligation to nurture said 2 year old.  What level of horrible behaviour from a toddler would you consider justifies picking the kid up and throwing them? Or beating their dog with a belt in front of them to punish the child for something the child did? or …*

Me: Ummm.  I guess I can’t think of any.

Reality: You *guess?*  You see how deep this conditioning goes?

Me: I know, I know.  It’s just… I know I was really difficult.
Reality: We’re talking about things that happened when you were 2 and younger.  Some of them preschool.  Do you think any toddler or preschooler you know is in a position to assess their own personalities?  No.  So who told you that you were so difficult?  Might that person have had a vested interest somehow in making this about you being unusually difficult?

Me: Oh.  I guess you’re right.

Reality: Of course I’m right.  That’s the thing about reality.


*(that’s all the revelations we can handle today)

So, anyway.  Things are much better. EMDR therapy is wonderful.  I am not going to guilt trip myself for being in survival mode but I don’t need to stay there now.  I am working on “I can accept it when good things happen to me”.

Need to read more about PTSD stuff? Try these:

PTSD: An imbalance between brain’s signaling systems

PTSD in soldiers may be connected to childhood trauma

PTSD and Gut Microbes


PTSD: Self-Talk

Things Not To Say to Somebody with PTSD

Anxiety and the Holidays: Quick Coping Tools


Therapy Stream of Consciousness

Knitting and crochet as therapy: http://thecommonroomblog.com/2016/08/crochet-therapy-and-projects.html


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Free Range Children, Times have Changed

"Parents can help the child at home with review on his newly learned sound 
through mealtime conversations that include some of the child's trouble words. 
The child may be allowed to do the grocery shopping for Mother. The parents 
can then check the success of the child and send the report to the teacher."

What strikes you about that advice?  It comes from
B. S., Kansas State Teachers College in 1963

Here in the PHilippines, I see children on public transportation, I see children trotting around the neighborhood and outside it to run errands for their parents, picking up grocery items (including the occasional bottle of beer from a sari-sari store), out in the field half  a mile away collecting bottles and cans for change.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Responses

Poetry for the Plucky

The Grasshopper and The Crickets

A grasshopper once had a game of tag

With some crickets that lived near by,

When he stumbled his toe, and over he went
Too quickly to see with your eye.

Then the cricket leaned up against a fence,
And chirped till their sides were sore,

But the grasshopper said, ‘You are laughing at me,
And I won’t play any more. ‘

So off he went, tho’ he wanted to stay,

For he was not hurt by his fall,

And the gay little crickets went on with the game

And never missed him at all.

A bright eyed squirrel called out as he passed,

Swinging from trees by his toes,

” What a foolish fellow that grasshopper it,

Why he’s bitten off his own nose.”
Little Foes of Little Boys.

“By and by” is a very bad boy ;

Shun him at once and forever; F

or they who travel with ” By and by,”

Soon come to the house of ” Never.”

“I can’t” is a mean little coward;

A boy that is half of a man;

Set on him a plucky wee terrier

That the world know and honors—” I can.”

” No use in trying.”—nonsense I say,

Keep trying until you succeed;

But if you should meet “I forget,” by the way,

He’s a cheat, and you’d better take heed.

“Don’t care” and  “No matter,” boys, they’re a pair,

And whenever you see the poor dolts,

Say ” Yes, we do care,” and it would be “great matter,”

If our lives should be spoiled by such faults.



Posted in Boy, Boys, or Blynken and Nod, poetry | 1 Response

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