It’s no secret that students in both middle school ELA and high school English struggle with grammar. However, not all hope is lost, and it isn’t too late to bring meaningful and effective grammar instruction into your classroom.
Here is a look at five must-teach grammar lessons and resources that will help your students improve their grammar skills and become stronger writers in the process!
1. Sentence Combining Bell Ringers
If you are looking for a quick yet effective daily grammar and writing routine, these sentence-combining bell ringers are just what you’re looking for! After teaching students what sentence combining looks like, it takes less than five minutes a day to practice this skill.
This sentence-combining bell ringer bundle includes enough bell ringers for a year of practice! Students will begin each class period by reading the group of simple sentences on the projector, combining them, and writing them into complex and compound-complex sentences.
To add more value to this daily routine, I suggest teachers have students share sentences with a partner so that students can see the various ways to combine sentences. Furthermore, I also recommend teachers call on student volunteers to read their sentences (with the punctuation) aloud.
2. Parts of Speech Teaching Unit
I created the eight parts of speech lessons within this unit out of dire necessity. In my very early years of teaching, I was given a remedial English class meant to accompany students in their curriculum English class. It was a ninth-grade English class with 38 students who failed eighth-grade English, and I was told I couldn’t use anything from the textbook since other teachers might use it in their class. I had no resources!
I quickly learned that my freshmen didn’t know their parts of speech, but in searching for resources, everything was much too babyish for them. So, I created what they needed: comprehensive parts of speech units that included instructional slides, pre-assessments, a plethora of student practice sheets, and a final assessment.
These units include print and digital versions and are perfect for use in the middle school ELA or high school English classroom!
3. Sentence Structure Teaching Unit
Once students understand the parts of speech, I then like to scaffold my grammar instruction to teach sentence structure, teaching all four types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex! When students fully understand sentence structure, their grammar and writing skills improve!
This sentence structure teaching unit includes more than enough materials to help your students learn and understand sentence structure: an instructional presentation for direct instruction; student materials including a pre-test, practice worksheets, and a final test; and print and digital versions for seamless class integration!
4. Dependent and Independent Clauses
In addition to teaching students all about sentence structure, teaching them about dependent and independent clauses is another surefire way to help secondary ELA students improve their grammar.
This instructional resource is ideal for teachers looking to help students stop writing with fragment and run-on sentences. It includes an instructional presentation for direct instruction, plenty of student materials, including a hands-on activity, and assessments!
5. Punctuation Teaching Unit
What would grammar instruction be without focused punctuation instruction? Even though learning about commas is an elementary standard, many middle and high school students lack the understanding of when to properly use a comma. I constantly tell my high school seniors that a comma is not strong enough for a particular sentence and that they need a semicolon instead.
This punctuation teaching unit includes print and digital instructional materials for four different types of punctuation: end marks, commas, semicolons and colons, and apostrophes.
All of these teaching resources (except for the sentence-combining bell ringers) are available in my Mega Grammar Bundle, which has more than enough instructional content to teach grammar to middle school ELA and high school English students for an entire school year!