Incorporating grammar doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out daunting task for teachers and students. Done right, it can be done in minutes a day and can actually be considered fun. Fun, what?!?!
Use texts that you have read or are reading in class to show students quality sentences from published authors. What better way to learn to write than from authors who have spent hours and hours working on crafting the right sentence.
When searching for a mentor sentence to use, I skim a book looking for a sentence that will highlight the skill that we are working on. I project the mentor sentence and provide my students with a typed version of the sentence that they can place in their interactive notebooks. Having it typed is a lot quicker than having them write the sentence down and take the chance of making errors.
After students have placed the mentor sentence in the notebook, I give them time to write down things that they notice about the sentence. Students may not be able to pull out the new skill that will be taught, and that is okay because the mentor sentence is provided before the skill has been introduced. Providing a weekly mentor sentence can be considered a great spiral review because students are looking for things that they have been previously taught.
Later on in the week, after direct instruction and practice with the skill, students imitate the sentence. This gives students a chance to create a steller sentence, just like the famous author. I model imitating the sentence in front of the students and then allow them to write their own. This is an excellent activity for differentiation because students can use as little or as much of the original sentence as they need.
Using an interactive anchor chart, model the grammar skill with students. Have students help you to come up with the pieces to include on the chart and have them create a chart along with you to keep for reference.
There are so MANY read alouds available that relate to grammar. They are good and the students love them! I like the series by Lynne Truss. These books are funny and show students what would happen if we didn’t take grammar seriously.
You can find these and many more grammar-related read alouds HERE.
After a skill has been introduced and revisited, have students work on applying it to authentic writing. One idea for generating ideas to write about is the 4-6-8 strategy. You can learn about that HERE.
Tell students that you are challenging them to use the new skill in their writing. It’s incredible how they accept that “challenge” and try to apply it!
Cooperative Learning Strategies
There are so many ways to use cooperative learning strategies with grammar. One way is to use partner up. With a partner, one student completes one task, and the other student completes a different task, then roles change.
HERE is a collection of cooperative learning strategies and directions!
Incorporating games with grammar is definitely a sure win! There are a lot of online games that students can play, such as Sheppard’s Software and Fun English Games.
Bingo is another fun game for practicing grammar. You can download a FREE Bingo game and directions here in the Free Resource Library.
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This FREE grammar unit will save you time! In this unit you will receive a step-by-step teacher guide, projectable anchor chart with as corresponding student version for interactive notebooks, mentor sentence, partner games, practice pages, and assessment!