How to make grammar FUN!!!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Apple125, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Apple125

    Apple125 Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I need help! I want to make grammar fun and exciting this year. So many kids hate it because it is boring, and, well, I can see their point. I want to know your ideas for games, activities, anything to spice up grammar class. Any links to good websites that actually help would be appreciated, too!

    And by the way, I teach seventh grade. Thanks!
     
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  3. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I taught 7th grade french last year and I used a lot of games for review. I split the class into teams and gave each team a whiteboard that I had purchased at the dollar store. Whatever grammar concept we were studying at the time became the topic for the game. If we were studying a new verb tense, for example, I would ask them to conjugate a verb in that tense for a specific person. They would get 30 seconds to write their answer on their whiteboard. Each correct answer got a point. At the end of each month, the team with the most points would get a prize.

    I've also done this with 9th and 10th graders. They all seem to love it. I think it's the whiteboard more than anything else!!!
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Sep 13, 2008

    Shanoo beat me to my suggestion. I loved used white boards with my sixth grade class last year. I think BINGO is fun too. This site:
    http://www.thecanadianteacher.com/tools/classroom/bingo/
    let's you make 3x3 or 5x5 cards for free. Maybe if you use words like: verb, noun, adjective, dependent clause... on it you can then give sentences and pick a word and ask which one of those it is. You could make one with "to, too, two, your, you're, their, there, they're, and BONUS" on a 3x3 one.

    Can't help you at all with any website suggestions though.

    Oh, and I now teach 10-12th grade and I still use white boards and BINGO. The BINGO winner only gets a prize if he/she can repeat the clues (more or less as I read them) for their correct answers.
     
  5. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    In my 7th/8th grade classes, we did grammar improv. The website I got a lot of ideas from is improvencyclopedia. org/games//index.html
    It is just a listing of improv activities so I had to look through them to find the ones that had to do with grammar or language arts. I also showed a lot of "Professor Syntax" videos from United Streaming. The kids complained that they were corny, but they laughed and learned their grammar!
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2008

    hmmmm, fun grammar...isn't that an oxymoron???? Actually, I like some of the suggestions so far. I think I'll share them with the LA teachers at my school.
     
  7. forchange

    forchange Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    An alternative to the white board idea is to have students write answers on overhead transparencies. It has some of the same appeal and then the whole class can look at one student's answer and decide if it's correct or not.

    I also am a big believer in teaching kids to diagram sentences. I know this has a definitely "not fun" reputation, but my very rough cohort from last year loved it. There was a sense of discovery, competition, and challenge.
     
  8. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Sep 22, 2008

    Task-based is the way to go for in-class activities.

    You can also try variations of bingo for teaching students to distinguish between different types of words. Have one column of nouns, one of verbs, one of adjectives, one of adverbs, and one of prepositions.

    However at the end of the day there's little substitute for writing practice and learning how to use clauses. The real litmus test isn't what they can answer on a test but how they can use it in writing.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 23, 2008

    It wouldn't do much for seventh graders, but I could see building some activities for high school students around Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Transitive Vampire (or, better, the update The Deluxe Transitive Vampire) - the examples are just kinky enough to be very memorable but silly enough to take the steam out of the more salacious bits.

    MadLibs work well for grammar practice, and having kids construct their own would be good practice too.
     

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