Grammar Matters!

Monday, July 25, 2022

 Engaging Grammar Activities.

Grammar can be tough to teach and tedious even with older students. I'm always looking for different ways to teach grammar that will engage students and differentiate instruction. These activities work in both middle and high school, and are really easy to use.

Sentence Strips. 

Sentence strips are common in elementary school (as shown above), but they can have a variety of uses. You can give your students sentence strips and ask them to make one simple sentence, one compound sentence, one complex sentence, and one compound complex sentence. I like to laminate mine and stick magnets on the back (stick on magnets are easy to find- just search amazon)... I start by making a simple sentence and then I can ask students to demonstrate how to turn a simple sentence into a compound sentence, how to turn a simple sentence into a complex sentence, and how to turn a compound sentence into a compound-complex sentence. You can have fun with the words and even ask students to help: words such as aliens, ninjas, pirates, and vomit are some I've seen suggested before. 

An example of how these sentence types can build on each other could be...
Simple Sentence: The ninjas waited outside of the door.
Compound Sentence: The ninjas waited outside of the door, and the aliens hovered above. 
Complex Sentence: The ninjas waited outside of the door while the aliens hovered above. 
Compound-Complex Sentence: While the pirates slept inside their house, the ninjas waited outside of door, and the aliens hovered above. 
Of course sentence strips don't have to be used with sentence structure, they can be used to help students learn how to make corrections or even how two very similar sentences that are grammatically correct can have totally different meanings. 

For example you could ask students what the difference is between these two sentences. 
#1: The ninjas waited outside of the door while the aliens hovered above. 
#2: The ninjas waited outside of the door because the aliens hovered above. 

One word change between the two sentences changes the entire meaning. The first one is stating that the ninjas waiting and the aliens hovering just happen to happening at the same time. However, the second sentence is stating that the aliens hovering is the reason the ninjas are waiting outside. 

Grammar Bytes

If you haven't tried Grammar Bytes then you are missing out on an awesome and free online resource. Grammar Bytes offers many exercises and handouts for variety of grammar topics. Everything from Subject-Verb Agreement to Commas to Parallel Structure, and more. If your students do the interactive exercises, Grammar Bytes will even tell them when they get an answer wrong. This is great for a paperless classroom.

Khan Academy- Grammar Course

Many high school teachers use the SAT portion of Khan Academy to help students prepare for the big test, but did you know they have a separate grammar course as well. Just go to courses and under Reading and Language Arts there is a Grammar course. The course starts with Parts of Speech, but also covers Modifiers and Syntax. There are videos, practices, and mini quizzes to help students master these skills. Khan Academy is free to use and can also create a teacher account. 

Need More Grammar Activities?
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Digital Task Cards are a great way to help your students with Subject-Verb Agreement for the SAT Writing and Language Section! These cards can work on a computer or mobile device! No printing of cutting just assign the deck to your students and you are ready to go! Boom Learning is free to sign up for. Students get immediate feedback and teachers can take advantage of reporting tools. Easy and effective! Great for distance learning or in a digital classroom. A total of 20 task cards.

***You can use Boom Cards in Google Classroom™! Just CLICK HERE to find out how!****

Looking for a fun way to engage your students? Look no further. Our Parts of Speech Escape Room has students going through all 8 parts of speech recognizing definitions, examples, and usage. This is a group activity which provides an excellent review for an exam or simply as a review.

A power point explaining what Pronoun Clarity refers to and how to make appropriate corrections.

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