Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Easy Ways to Teach Grammar

Our language is made up of all kinds of words and there is so much to learn about them. Nouns, plural nouns, irregular plural nouns, collective nouns, possessive nouns, verbs, past tense verbs, irregular past tense verbs, adverbs, and so much more!  Whether you're introducing a new skill or looking to review a previously taught skill, there are so many different ways to share this content with students.
What follows are some of my favorite ways to teach and practice the various language skills included in the standards.

Picture Books
I love, love, love using picture books to introduce or reinforce a new language skill.  Picture books always capture the students' attention, so why not capitalize on that and use a book to help share a new language skill. There are tons of great books out there.

I love this Grammar Tales series!  I purchased it several years ago through a Scholastic book order, and I've been using them ever since.


I also love this series of books.   The illustrations are great and the content is thorough. Random tidbit, I purchased these through a vendor who used to sell books at our school on a weekly basis, but you can find them on Amazon. This link will take you to the Adjectives book, but if you scroll down the page a bit, you will find more titles in the series. :)


I also love Ruth Heller's books.  They are great for providing students with visuals when teaching parts of speech.  I usually check these out from our school library.

Tip: Check to see what your school librarian has on his/her shelves.  You might be pleasantly surprised at the variety of books available in your building.  :)

Hands-On Partner Activities
Once I introduce a skill, I like my students to practice it, but I try to look for opportunities that give them hands-on practice.  Task cards and match up games are just a few of my favorites.

When a skill is brand new, I like to set out task cards around the room.  I pair the students up and let them work together to answer the questions.  They enjoy working in pairs, and it's also a good way for them to learn from one another.

The game pieces shown in the above picture are from my Collective Nouns unit on TPT.
 
Match Up games are always fun. When we use them, I have the students make their matches and write them down.  Once they do that, they can use them to play a game (or two) of memory.  They love this!  And, it makes for another good time filler/review activity once they have experience with how to play/the skill being practiced.

This game is from my Plural Nouns unit on TPT.


Whole Group Activities


I Have, Who Has is one of my favorite whole group activities. Read more about this activity HERE. This amazing game can be used with any skill, in just about any subject area. What I love about this game is that it can easily be used to fill a small chunk of time.  Got 10 extra minutes one day?  Play I Have, Who Has!  You can review important content and it's fun!


You can grab the free game shown above by clicking HERE.

Quiz-Quiz-Trade (a Kagan strategy) is another favorite of mine.  Sometimes, I call this activity a "mingle."  It gets the kids moving around. It also gives the students an opportunity to interact as they read to one another.  You can read more about Quiz-Quiz-Trade HERE.  This game is also a quick one.  It lasts as long as you want it to last, making it the perfect time filler or warm up.

The game pieces shown above are part of my Arrrsome Irregular Verbs pack on TPT.

Another variation of a match up game, is Find Your Partner. Give each student a card with your content printed on it.  Their task is to mingle about the room and find the person whose card matches their card.  For example, someone with a singular noun written on their card would try to find the person with the plural form of their word and vice versa. The version shown below requires the students to match a phrase to its collective noun.  This activity is great for quickly reviewing content at the beginning of a lesson, and it gets kids up and moving. 

The game pieces shown in the above picture are from my Collective Nouns unit on TPT.


P.S. You don't need fancy cards like the ones shown!  Grab a marker and some index cards and make your own! I do this often and it's just as effective.  :)

Mad Libs
Mad Libs are the best!  The kids get a total kick out of them, and they are super quick (and fun) way to quickly review parts of speech. It's also a great way to encourage students to think of interesting words.

I remember my own second grade teacher sharing them with my class way back when.  Every day before lunch, we sat on the carpet and completed a hilarious story.

I like to start with Mad Libs, Jr. and work my way to the original Mad Libs.


Videos
This year, we have access to You Tube at school! It's been blocked for years. This has been a game changer, and a welcome change.  It's the little things, friends.  Now that we can use that site to show videos, I do.  With that said, it isn't always easy to find exactly what you're looking for and I don't show videos every day.  I show them when I find something of value. It's a nice way to mix things up.

Playing a video at the beginning of a lesson makes for a quick review of previously learned material.  If you show it at the end of the lesson, it could make for a great recap of that day's objective.
Tip: Be sure to preview any videos you show ahead of time.

I wish I had a mind blowing tip for how to search for amazing videos on You Tube, but I don't.  I just enter my search terms and look through the results.  However, there are a few channels out there that you might find helpful. :)
  • The Grammarheads have lots of videos to choose from (but some aren't really grammar related).  The videos themselves aren't anything super exciting.  I mean, you definitely aren't watching a big budget music video, but the songs are great!  I like the Contractions song.  And, the Their, There, They're song.
  •  The Grammaropolis channel has some fun videos.  They are mainly short cartoon videos. Some are full length songs and some are just short clips (no songs).
  •  You can also find several School House Rock videos. I remember watching these when I was young.  I'm dating myself, but I'm OK with that.  
I hope you loved these easy ideas for teaching grammar in the classroom.  Be sure to grab the I Have, Who Has freebie, and pin the post for future reference.

Looking for some resources with hands-on and engaging activities to teach grammar?  Below are some resources you might find helpful.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Plural-Nouns-306325

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Collective-Nouns-309498

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Irregular-Verbs-326176

DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT! 


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