Parts of Speech Staircase

Parts of Speech Staircase lesson plan

What’s the difference between a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective? Step up to this study tool to help you remember!

  • 1.

    With Crayola Dry-Erase Markers and a class white board, create an attributes chart to show the parts of speech the class is studying. For example, create four rows on the board and label them as 1) noun, 2) verb, 3) adverb, 4) adjective. Create two columns and label them: A) what it is; and B) examples. Work together as a class to create a definition for each part of speech and generate some word examples.

  • 2.

    Once students have exhausted their lists and examples, ask them to create their own Parts of Speech Staircase. Distribute construction paper, Crayola Fine Line Markers and Glue Sticks to students. Demonstrate to the class how to begin by folding the top of one sheet of construction paper over about 1/4 of the way. Crease. Fold a second sheet so the top edge reaches down about 5/6 of the way. Crease. Place the second sheet inside the first. Glue along the folds with a Crayola Glue Stick.

  • 3.

    Using Crayola Fine Line Markers, students write the name of one part of speech on each flap in large letters. Suggest they write some word examples around each part of speech.

  • 4.

    On the back of each flap, suggest students write the definition and draw a picture to remind themselves of what that part of speech does. For example, draw some people, places, and things on the back of the noun flap. Draw figures in action on the back of the verb flap. Write descriptive words with pictures that demonstrate the traits on the backs of the adjective and adverb flaps.

  • 5.

    During language arts class, or any lesson that involves writing, ask students to put their Parts of Speech Staircases on their desktops as an easy reference to enhance their writing skills.


  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • During random discussions with classmates, students note something interesting that was said. Select words from the classmate's statement and analyze which words are nouns, verbs, adjectives, and/or adverbs. Add these terms to the Parts of Speech Staircase.
  • Encourage students to review their Parts of Speech Staircase. Challenge the class or group to use only terms they find in their Parts of Speech Staircases. Not enough words to communicate well? Take time to add additional terms to all categories!