Grammar is one of those “you’ll use it in the real world” skills that, unfortunately, can be difficult to implement in the classroom. Especially if you are hitting on it as a stand-alone unit and not throughout the year. Here are five suggestions to help students improve their grammar.
1. Use real-life examples
I have found humor to be the best example, which is why I love looking up “Grammar Fails” with my students. It is a great way to solidify grammar rules. You might also have students look for Grammar Fails throughout the year. They can bring it in for extra credit, and you can build a display in your room of student-found samples.
2. Daily practice
I’ve never understood cramming grammar as its own unit. That’s a lot of rules for students to make sense of, and students who don’t already have a good grasp of grammar will struggle. If you want to see improvement, grammar should be practiced daily. Even if you dedicate 2-3 days a week to include grammar practice, you are helping your students far more than a cram session. The great news is, grammar fits perfectly as a bellringer or exit slip.
3. Back to basics
I’m not above using Schoolhouse Rock when we begin the year and are checking for understanding. I never assume my students have a solid understanding of grammar rules, and I love the nostalgia. There are also many catchy songs, rhymes, and tricks to remembering all the grammar rules that can be found on YouTube. This is a really fun way to discuss grammar rules.
4. Have more than enough options
There are so many options for teaching grammar, so have a variety of options to differentiate. Luckily, grammar is something that can be practiced fairly independently. Try this Mega Bundle of grammar practice, this Flip Book, or these Task Cards. Variety is the spice of life, and your students will appreciate having varying activities and assignments to help them solidify their grammar knowledge.
5. Go big and fun
If you’re looking for a cumulative task or focused review for grammar study, consider something really out of the box like a scavenger hunt or escape room. The novelty will keep students engaged and adding a challenging aspect helps students think in more complex ways to complete the task at hand. It can also be helpful to have students work together as teams for this kind of project.
Beef up students’ knowledge of grammar rules and their ability to seamlessly make it part of their everyday use by ensuring your students are actively using grammar in your class. Frequency is key! What are your favorite ways to incorporate grammar into your ELA classroom?