Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Making Grammar Fun

Grammar is one of those things that many students do not like. However, it was something I loved as a kid. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I think it had something to do with the fact that for most parts of grammar, there is a specific right answer, and I felt good knowing that I knew what that answer was. I liked math for the same reason (though my engineer husband tells me that high level math often does not have a "right" answer).

When I started teaching, I looked for ways to make grammar fun for students. I know that many people like to teach grammar within other writing and reading units, and I do too. However, sometimes I think it's necessary to start teaching some of the concepts explicitly and by themselves, and then integrate it into your other units as a review.

So, here are a few things you can do if you teach the parts of speech in your classroom to make it fun.

Not only are group activities fun, but they also provide opportunities for the students to communicate with each other to learn the concepts even better.

I like to have groups work to solve problems. This seems easy in math or science, but it works for grammar as well. When learning about a part of speech, I like my students to work together to create posters of rules for using the part of speech.

I also like to use songs. Who doesn't love a fun song? Here's a way to have students remember helping verbs by creating a song about it. Click on the picture below to download:

Students always love games. Games are great for grammar (and everything else), because the students practice the topic with repetition without usually even realizing it.

I subbed in a 6th grade classroom last year, and I played Zip, Zap, Zop - Verb Style with them-but didn't take any pictures :(. This is a simple, fast-paced game that originally was a type of ice breaker. I changed the rules a bit to make a grammar version. Click on the picture below for directions:

I know - people don't like the term worksheets anymore, but we are running out of different words to call them by. The thing is, worksheets/graphic organizers/activities can be engaging and not a waste of time, if they are the right ones. I like worksheets that make students think. When I teach the parts of speech, I like to have the students really know the differences between the parts of speech and how they are used, so I put that into the activities that we do. Here is a picture of some worksheets that will make your students think and are more engaging than the traditional workbook.

Follow the link below to download a free excerpt from the pronoun unit - includes the first lesson, group activity, and activity pages.

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