In a world of fast paced media it is difficult for students to understand the importance of grammar. I am interested in creative methods to teach grammar. Does anyone have suggestions, lessons, or resources for teaching grammar in a creative way? Does anyone use physical activities mixed with grammar games to motivate students and help them remember lesson?
I use an activity to help students learn when to use subject and object pronouns which includes physical activity. I put the students into groups of five. Previous to the activity, I have created several sentences and placed one to three words on each piece of construction paper. One group may get this set of seven papers: Tim He saw Sally and Jane them at the movie
Each member of the group needs to have at least one piece of paper in his/her hand. As a group, they need to get themselves into an order so that their sentence reads correctly. I determine what type of pronouns would be used if any. For instance, I might say that they need to create a sentence with an object pronoun. Using the words they've been given, they should come up with
Tim saw them at the movie. The other papers would be left on the table or desk.
It's a great activity to have a competition with several groups, but then you need many different sets of words to create the sentences. I just have groups pass on the set they've used to the next group. I usually give the first group that finishes correctly five points, the next group four points, etc. This allows for a friendly class competition while getting the students up and moving around and learning about the difference between the subject and object pronouns and how those pronouns are used in sentences. I do have to say it gets a bit hectic, especially when several groups are finished at the same time, but it's easy to say they've accomplished the task or that they need to try again. I mix up the the demands: a sentence with a subject pronoun, a sentence with an object pronoun, a sentence with both a subject and object pronoun, or a sentence with no pronouns. Because of that, I need to have all the words that might be used for any of those commands.
Montessori uses a different colored symbol to represent each part of speech, and you can collect these pretty easily. A large black pyramid for a noun, because nouns are important and solid. A smaller blue pyramid for an adjective, because adjectives make your writing colorful, and adjectives describe nouns. An even smaller lighter blue pyramid for an article, because articles also go with nouns, but they don't do as much as adjectives. A dark purple pyramid that is as tall as the noun pyramid, but thinner, for a pronoun, because pronouns can take the place of a noun, but are not as specific. A large red ball for verbs, because verbs are lively and full of action. A smaller orange ball for adverbs which describe verbs (and adjectives). A green bridge for prepositions because you can be over, under, beside, next to, etc. to a bridge and prepositions tell us where and when about something. A Pink ribbon for a conjunction, because conjunctions connect things like a ribbon can. And a gold pyramid with a ball on top (like an upside down exclamation point) for exclamatories, because they can make a complete sentence like a noun and verb so they are the king words. You can also get stencils with all of these shapes on them so that the children can put the symbols under the words in a sentence, using the different colors, telling which part of speech each word is. There are also word boxes, which can be pricey, with different numbers of spaces for each part of speech, used to introduce the various parts one by one, having the children "diagram" the sentences with the shapes and colors. I hope this gives you some ideas.
A resource with the eight parts of speech posted on the wall. The wall is a resource used during instruction and student have the freedom to walk to the wall if direct instruction is not taking place. We build the wall with the parts of speech and sub categories that are in each part including formulas and common endings for the words. The wall takes up on half of one wall and is floor to ceiling. It is awesome as students help develop an interactive resource that is used all year long.
We will play bingo with the answer to grammar and writing based question in the bingo card and the answers also on the wall or within the room on anchor charts. Standard bingo rules apply.
I will also post a picture and ask the students to pull the who and the what out of the picture to generate a subject and predicate list. Once this is done we use sentence expanders to add detail to the sentence. We then code the sentence and write the sentence in a formula who+what+compliment. We write in declarative, negative and interrogative forms as we go through the different tenses during the year. There seems to be a lot of physical activity in my class as the students are adding to and going to the wall as they are constructing sentences.
I was introduced to Grammar Baseball this summer by a highly paid consultant from CLark Consulting (I think). Set up four chairs in the front of the room. Divide the room into two teams. One team is playing the field and they sit in the chairs. The other team has one batter up and this team member stands behind the first chair, first base. A grammar based question is asked and the batter and field player race to answer. If the batter answers first they advance, if the field player answers first the batter is out. Of course they have to have the correct answer.
I hope this helps.