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!
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!!!
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/to...assroom/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.
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!
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.
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.